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Habitat use by chameleons in a deciduous forest in western Madagascar

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Information on the distribution and abundance of chameleons in Madagascar is required to develop conservation plans that integrate protected area management and sustainable use. We surveyed chameleons in eight sites in deciduous forest in Menabe, western Madagascar. Brookesia brygooi was the most frequently detected species, with a population density of 35 ha–1. Furcifer species were less common, with calculated densities of 7.2 ha–1 (F. labordi), 3.0 ha–1 (Furcifer sp.) and 1.3 ha–1 (F. oustaleti). Chameleon abundance varied according to altitude (B. brygooi) and no clear effect from logging was detected (all species). A lack of information on chameleon diurnal habitat requirements impedes a fuller assessment of the extent to which these species are tolerant to forest degradation. There were interspecific differences in the height of nocturnal perches and additional studies are needed to determine whether these are related to diurnal resource partitioning. Furcifer labordi and Furcifer sp. are of conservation concern because they are restricted to native forests in western Madagascar.

Affiliations: 1: Madagasikara Voakajy, B. P. 5181, Antananarivo (101), Madagascar; 2: Département de Biologie Animale, Faculté des Sciences, Université d'Antananarivo, Antananarivo (101), Madagascar; 3: Ecole Supérieure des Sciences Agronomiques, Département des Eaux et Forêt, Université d'Antananarivo, Antananarivo (101), Madagascar; 4: Ecole Supérieure des Sciences Agronomiques, Département des Eaux et Forêt, Université d'Antananarivo, Antananarivo (101), Madagascar, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, Antananarivo, Madagascar; 5: Madagasikara Voakajy, B. P. 5181, Antananarivo (101), Madagascar, School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, AB24 2TZ, Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, University of Canterbury, Kent, United Kingdom; ,, Email:


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