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Watch out....


Watch out....
Photo Information
Copyright: Paul van Slooten (pvs) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-10-21
Categories: Reptiles
Camera: Sony Alfa dSLR A700, Sony 300mm F2.8 G, Digital RAW 200
Exposure: f/4, 1/250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: Krugerpark October 2008
Date Submitted: 2009-02-06 2:09
Viewed: 4804
Points: 16
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Watch out where you drive my mother said to me as we where driving on the Tarroad H1-6 underway to Shingwedzi restcamp,although I was driving slow,I was firstly looking to the left and right side of the tarroad as I thought she spotted some game,after she said that a chameleon passed the road,I had to look carefully before I sighted this well camouflaged reptile,we stopped our car and made some captures of this beautifull reptile before we moved on,I have posted a LP version of this one,hope you like it and tfw


Chameleon species are not numerous compared to many other groups of reptiles. Southern Africa has 14 species of endemic dwarf chameleons presently recognised, mostly from the Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. We have one in our area, recorded from the escarpment forests. There are two species of leaf chameleons in eastern Zimbabwe and central Mozambique.

Of around 45 species of common chameleon’- (genus Chamaeleo) - two are found in southern Africa. One (the Namaqua chameleon)is confined to the dry, western areas. The other - the flap-neck chameleon (Chamaeleo dilepis) - occurs from the Kalahari eastwards but north of the Cape province and down the KZN coastal area. This latter species is the one you are most likely to encounter in the lowveld. Due to their slow movement and ability to change colour to match the background, these fascinating creatures are often overlooked.They are most easily spotted during night drives with the use of a search light when they appear almost luminous in their lighter, sleeping colour.

Although not considered endangered, chameleons are a highly threatened group - particularly the flap-neck chameleon which inhabits populated and agricultural areas.They have many natural predators which include arboreal snakes, larger shrikes and certain raptors. Like most birds and reptiles, there is only about a two percent probability of survival to adult breeding age. The chances of successful breeding are even less.

The greatest threat to their survival comes from human activities. Destruction of habitat for development and chemical control of their (insect) food species severely restricts their range. Traditional, cultural ‘taboo’ results in unjustified persecution. Veld fires are probably the greatest killer, from which they have no escape. Their natural instinct is to climb up from danger, which takes them into the hottest part of flames. There is very likely 100 percent destruction of chameleons in a hot burn.

Being slow movers they are, like many other creatures, very vulnerable when crossing roads. They and other reptiles are often intentionally run over. People don’t seem to realise or care that they are destroying valuable allies. I was moved by a recent photo showing a poor leguaan with all her eggs squashed out on one of the Kruger Park roads. It obviously occurred during daylight and must have been intentional. What a very sad incident. I am illustrating a similar occurrence with a female chameleon - at the very peak of her effort to maintain her ‘tribe’.

It is very sad that we, the so-called, most highly developed form of life, are so destructive through carelessness or lack of regard for other life forms. It is easy to make a mistake and incidents are often unavoidable but if everyone was more environmentally aware and less self-seeking the earth would be in a better state. We are destroying the very foundations of our own survival. Think before you illegally burn or otherwise destroy our veld and keep your eyes on the road for those creatures that are finding it hard enough to keep functioning without you running them over. Your turn will be next !

We were lucky enough to spot this chameleon in time and were able to observe and photograph this colorfull sighting

Hope you like it and enjoy the weekend.

goldyrs, vanderschelden, peter_stoeckl, robindb, nglen, maurydv, gannu has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Superb shot!I love the exposure and the POV!
Cheers, Paul!
Goldy

  • Great 
  • zetu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 26 N: 3888] (16941)
  • [2009-02-06 4:25]

Hello Paul
Nice and very interesting capture. Good details and perfect focus. I like it.
Regards.
Razvan

It's all about camouflage, Paul. And this fellow is pretty good...
Tell you something. Mothers do notice camouflage;-)
I didn't see such a beautiful chameleon in Kruger. As a matter of fact I didn't spot any Chameleon at all.
Well done and thanks for sharing.
Annick

Hi Paul,
fascinating encounter, very well documented.
The large size version is a good choice to show finest details on this perfectly well camouflaged reptile.
Thank you for driving that carefully, saving that creature's precious life. And thank you for posting.
With best regards,
Peter

Hi Paul,

It was good of you to sight this chameleon with its good camouflage on the road surface. Well taken image and thanks also for your article.

Robin

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2009-02-06 11:26]

Hi Paul. You were lucky your mother saw this chameleon as its blends in to the road so well. You were able to get good detail and natural colours. All with interesting notes. well done TFS.
Nick..

Hi Paul,
an interesting and beautiful capture of this chameleon taken from a god POV showing well the great camouflage; the large size version is outstanding with fine details.
TFS. Best regards.
Have a good weekend
Maurizio

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2009-02-07 2:21]

Paul, Very interesting note and well spot chameleon. Good composition and nice shot. Ganesh

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