While the RIGHT-SIMPLE-SAFE caresheets for the care for the Yemen chameleon have been distributed and are available around the globe in 19 languages (always available in all groups of the LWC association and on the language specific pages of Chameleons.info), they represent the average proper care for the species. And, if we go for "Naturallistic Chameleonoculture", where the main principle is to "SIMULATE MEANINGFULLY VITAL AND ELIMINATE LETHAL NATURAL CONDITIONS IN CAPTIVITY", we need to consider, that "average never happens".
Therefore, climatic charts and care guidelines were prepared, based on which, the keeper is clearly guided to understand the difference between the mild rainy season and harsh dry season and can adjust the care to simulate safe way these two seasons and, so see and understand the whole climatic gradients during the annual cycle and is able to simulate the whole year specifics including adjusting meaningfully the egg incubation accordingly.
There are 5 charts available, that were prepared by Petr Necas, with excellent design of Eva Zilkova and amazing original paintings of Anastasiia Shiriaeva, to all belong our gratitude for it.
1. DAILY WILD LIFE HISTORY: RAINY SEASON
2. DAILY WILD LIFE HISTORY: DRY SEASON
3. NATURALISTIC CAPTIVE MANAGEMENT: RAINY SEASON
4. NATURALISTIC CAPTIVE MANAGEMENT: DRY SEASON
5. YEARLY YEMEN CHAMELEON ACTIVITIES
DAILY WILD LIFE HISTORY: RAINY SEASON
It depicts the typical daily climatic cycle of the rainy season in many environmental factors.
DAILY WILD LIFE HISTORY: DRY SEASON
It depicts the typical daily climatic cycle of the dry season in many environmental factors. Nowadays, most of the chameleons die during the season due to predation, but they are capable to hibernate div in the leaf litter (nowadays mostly absent) and survive this harsh season.
NATURALISTIC CAPTIVE MANAGEMENT: RAINY SEASON
It gives instruction how to adjust our care parameters to simulate the climate of this season safe way for the chameleons to thrive and to eliminate extremes that can contribute to stress, discomfort, health impact, shortened life-span or even death.
Feeding should be limited for adults not to get easily overfed, while young need to get fed ad-libitum to grow and reach adulthood naturally quickly.
Beware that UVI levels are a ailable as measured exposed to direct sun and the chameleons get exposed to it only in the morning hours and late afternoon, when they bask and when the UVI levels do not reach their maximum, just low levels.
Similarly, the basking temperatures are in the moment of basking of course higher than the ambient temperature, but based on my measurements, they are approximately in accordance with the maximum daytime ambient temperature in early afternoon hours.
The daylight period should be simulated by white light source for the time in accordance to the photoperiod of the respective season.
The basking and UV exposure is good to be synchronized as they might get the higher doses of UV when coming close to the heat source while basking and during the day, they can get smaller UV doses while moving through the more (from UV source) distant parts of the cage (where the UV intensity is low - beware the intensity of any light including UV is reducing with the square if distance from the source, so in double distance, it is 4times lower and in 4times further, it is 16times less intense).
The fogger should be available in the nighttime hours and the intensity and periodicity should be adjusted based on the level of ventilation of the cage: from full exposure for 6-7hour at high power in the case of full mesh cages to intermittent fogging in the case of low ventilation cages.
Misting, if at all, should happen before the lights (especially basking lights) get on and after they get off. If a daytime misting is required or done, the basking lights should be OFF about an hour before and about an hour after the misting not to increase the humidity while the temperatures are high (not to increase tremendously the risk of RI).
Dripper can be on during any time of the day, and care should be taken not to increase the air humidity during the period of its function.
The basking lights are best to be ON for short periods of the basking only and NOT ON the whole day.
The air movements are to be simulated according to the general logic, that at daytime, the airflow (wind intensity) is generally higher than at nighttime.
NATURALISTIC CAPTIVE MANAGEMENT: DRY SEASON
It gives instruction how to adjust our care parameters to simulate the climate of this season safe way for the chameleons to thrive and to eliminate extremes that can contribute to stress, discomfort, health impact, shortened life-span or even death. The instructions are similar as in the case of rainy season, specifics are mentioned here.
Feeding will be reduced in this season due to low temperatures.
The daylight is significantly shorter than in the rainy season and accordingly, the UV exposure can be dramatically less, as the metabolism will in general slowed down substantially, so risks of MBD are reduced to almost nill.
The temperatures and humidity levels should be both reduced in this period and if even simulating the hibernation phase, no basking should be allowed. Fogging should also be less intense and shorter. Dripper is advisable to prevent discomfort from not enough hydration but in general, the fogging should saturate their reduced water needs in this season.
YEARLY YEMEN CHAMELEON ACTIVITIES
For those who want fully understand the annual cycles, a comprehensive chart is available, based on which you can not simulate the whole year accordingly.
The soil temperature in the shalow strata where they lay their eggs approximately 7-15cm (2,5-6in) deep max., is 2-4 degrees higher than the ambient temperature at daytime (due to the better warmth capacity of the soil than those of the air), approximately same as ambient temperature in late night. And, it fluctuates during the day-night cycle. So, easily a naturalistic egg incubation cycle can be designed.
Brilliant miniature caricature-style pictograms were prepared by Anastasiia Shiriaeva to depict in a light yet well understandable way the type of activity, the chameleons are busy with during the circadian (daily) and annual (yearly) cycles. Her artistic brilliance is only exceeded by her youthful age (still 17!).
For the good of
and the Planet Earth...