Just before Easter I found a Knysna dwarf chameleon in our bushy garden. And this is really, really special and only the third time in 15 years that we’ve discovered one here! In Wikipedia the following is written about this extremely rare little fellow (the body is about 4 cm long; total length with tail unfolded approx. 15 cm):
“The Knysna Dwarf Chameleon (Bradypodion damaranum) is a species of dwarf chameleon in the Bradypodion (“slow footed”) genus of chameleons that are endemic to South Africa. It is a forest dweller, found only in a limited range in the afromontane forests near Knysna, South Africa, and in certain other areas. As with most chameleons, its tongue is twice the length of its body and it can be shot out of its mouth using a special muscle in the jaw. This gives the chameleon the ability to catch insects some distance away.”
(See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knysna_Dwarf_Chameleon )
Unfortunately the habitat of this little creature is shrinking and they are extremely vulnerable – from mechanic hedge clippers to pet cats the urban garden environment holds many dangers for them. Little wonder considering how small they are, and how slowly they move…
Which is why, after taking this picture, I picked up this one and carefully dropped him in the thickest and most remote hedge at Zauberberg, where the wild creatures live!