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Tarzan Chameleon

Saving the Critically Endangered Tarzan chameleon from Extinction

Madagascar is home to over half of the world's chameleon species. The humid forests of Ambatofotsy and Ankorabe in eastern Madagascar are home to the only known distribution area of the highly endangered Tarzan chameleon, which it shares with other endangered species such as the Indri and the Diademed sifaka. To protect these species, the Ambatofotsy (1775 ha) and Ankorabe (96 ha) reserves were established in 2015 and regulations for habitat protection were drawn up. However, these cannot be adequately implemented due to a lack of controls and the wetland forest continues to be converted into farmland. In addition to the species to be protected, this also threatens the local population, which is dependent on the water supply from the wet forest.

Stiftung Artenschutz is supporting Madagasikara Voakajy in setting up a team of rangers from the local population. The trained rangers will enforce compliance with the DINA regulation through regular patrols, so that the local population is directly involved in the protection of the humid forest. This will also be done through a community-based reforestation project by planting 5000 indigenous trees together with the local population. In order to improve habitat quality, interviews and focus group discussions are also being conducted with the local community. The aim is to identify alternative livelihoods in order to minimise people's financial dependence on the forest.

The aim of this project is effective management of the Ambatofotsy and Ankorabe reserves by the regional community to stop habitat destruction for the critically endangered Tarzan chameleon.

Project Fact Sheet



Tarzan chameleon (Calumma tarzan); Indri (Indri indri); Diademed Sifaca (Propithecus diadema)




Habitat loss


Project aim


Formation of a ranger force to enforce local environmental protection measures