The very first International Chameleon Day is celebrated today, May 9, 2024. This day is initiated by international conservation organizations to invite people to appreciate the beauty and unique characteristics of chameleons while encouraging a sense of responsibility for their conservation and the preservation of their habitats.


This day holds particular significance for Madagascar as 97 species of chameleons are endemic to the island. According to a study conducted in the Ankarafantsika National Park in 2012 and 2013, the chameleon is one of the popular tourist destinations in Madagascar, second only to lemurs. This explains its importance for the economy of Madagascar.

Madagasikara Voakajy works for the protection of Malagasy biodiversity. Since 2015, the chameleon known scientifically as "Calumma tarzan" has been a conservation target species for the association in the protected areas of Ambatofotsy and Ankorabe, in the Anosibe an'Ala district, Alaotra Mangoro Region. Calumma tarzan is endemic to the eastern part of Madagascar, according to a study conducted by Madagasikara Voakajy in 2020.

Calumma tarzan faces multiple threats such as deforestation and slash-and-burn agriculture or "Tavy." It is listed as Critically Endangered, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

Chameleons are unique solitary animals on earth. They primarily feed on insects and play an important role in ecosystem balance. They are a vital element of food chains as they play important roles as both prey and predators in the ecosystem, emphasizes Alain RAKOTONDRINA, Researcher at Madagasikara Voakajy.

Research conducted by Madagasikara Voakajy in 2020-2021 confirms an extension of Calumma tarzan distribution in two regions, Alaotra-Mangoro and Atsinanana, in the East of Madagascar. These studies have highlighted the severity of habitat loss for the species. Thus, the first conservation strategy for Calumma tarzan CONSERVATION STRATEGY_CALUMMA TARZAN - Madagasikara Voakajy | Madagasikara Voakajy ( was developed in 2022 by Madagasikara Voakajy and all stakeholders. The implementation of this conservation strategy is a major challenge to protect the remaining habitats of Calumma tarzan.