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Beautiful Cryptic or blue-legged Chameleon (Calumma crypticum) at night in Ranomafana nati

Inventory and distribution of chameleons in Vohimana, Madagascar

Collect crucial data to strengthen conservation strategies, support research and promote a participatory science approach.

Project summary

Madagascar, a jewel of biodiversity, is facing increasing fragmentation of its forests and greater than expected genetic diversity among various groups of chameleons, requiring immediate exploration of the remaining forest fragments. The Vohimana private reserve, a key transitional ecosystem covering 2,000 hectares, represents an exceptional opportunity to deepen our understanding of these species.

This project aims to explore the entire reserve and collect exhaustive data on the chameleons. A protocol, including standardised photos and environmental data, is applied to each observation to ensure rigorous data collection. The compilation of data will result in an updated species list, spatial distribution map and detailed environmental descriptions, providing an in-depth understanding of the ecology of chameleons in the reserve.

The project will enable chameleon species to be identified, thereby strengthening conservation strategies. It will provide training for local guides, engaging them in field missions, generating direct income and strengthening their role in raising awareness. Discoveries will be exploited in a participatory science approach with actions involving the local population, students and eco-volunteers, creating income-generating opportunities. The compilation of data will form an essential basis for conservation.

Réserve de Vohimana, Madagascar

Deliverables: An updated list of chameleon species present in the reserve. A map showing the spatial distribution of the various species. Descriptions of the environmental conditions for each species, providing an understanding of their ecology and conservation issues.

We're off to explore Vohimana

January 2023 - The reserve's guides have been trained and equipped for this mission, which will last at least 3 months. We look forward to learning more about the diversity of chameleon species found in this protected forest.

Images: Day Nabih

First review

July 2023 - The first Vohimana chameleon survey was carried out from January 12 to April 14, 2023.

The objectives set for this first mission were:

  1. What species are present in the reserve?

  2. What is the geographical distribution of each species?

  3. What is the habitat of each species?

📸 Furcifer bifidus​

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Forest expeditions


km of track covered


Chameleons observed


Species identified

In addition to the 11 species identified (including one hitherto unknown in the reserve), we were able to collect temperature, hygrometry and UV index data characterizing the preferred environmental conditions for each species. These data are currently being processed for publication in a scientific journal.

There is still much to discover in the Vohimana reserve, and we are looking forward to the second mission, which will take place between December 2023 and May 2024.

You can support our projects by becoming a benefactor member of our association or by making a donation.

Eco-volunteer mission to inventory the chameleons of Vohimana

First eco-volunteering mission

September 2023 - Lucas, Valentin and Colin took part in the first eco-volunteering mission organised as part of the project to inventory the chameleons in the Vohimana reserve in Madagascar.

Photos: Valentin Peguiron and Lucas Orsini

Last July, accompanied by guides from the reserve, they scoured the forest for several weeks in search of chameleons. Their observations obviously followed the methodology established for the project. More than 80 specimens belonging to 9 species were identified. This mission took place during the winter period and enabled us to collect a number of interesting data on the life cycle of certain species.

If you would like to get involved in this project as an eco-volunteer, please contact us. Places are still available for our next inventory mission, which will last several months and start in November 2023!

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Start of season 2

January 2024 - Our second inventory campaign to count the chameleons of the Vohimana reserve has begun! Our team of guides is committed to exploring every corner of the reserve, collecting valuable data for a better understanding of chameleon ecology. By involving the local community, together we are helping to create more enlightened conservation and a lasting impact!

Photo: Valentin Peguiron, Lucas Orsini

2023 - 2025

22 000 CHF

ID 0.3

Partners and donors

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