One of he most frequently discussed topic of chameleon husbandry is the water management...
What I want to focus now at is NOT a theory and it is NOT a technology. It is an important part of our Naturalistic Approach as it simulates perfectly what happens in the wild.
while at daytime, usually the humidity significantly drops to levels arouns 60-70% in dense rainforests and to even below 30% in the deserts, all at temperatures that are high. The only significant increase of humidity at daytime comes during the rains, but then, simultaneously, the temperatures drop dramatically too (due to cloud cover of the sun and due to temperature of the rain, which is usually in the 70s!)
This is what we must take into consideration and simulate in the captivity. It works, as it is natural!
It is of course much better than doing it differently, destroying natural cycles that chameleons are used to for tenths of millions of years and then compensate their discomfort with something else.
In the wild, chameleons are very rarely observed to drink... I was almost shocked two months back in Kenya, what the Jacksons chameleons did after 4 months drought with no single drop of rain... I was studying one of the populations and observed about 8 animals at one locality exactly at the moment when the first rain came.
What do you think the chams did?Run for water? Catching every single drop after thirsty 4 months?
They hide in the bushes and slept in!
Because they were perfectly hydrated and wanted to escape the rain!
Many chameleon species are considered heavy drinkers. Such as e.g. T. melleri. Nonsense. They do not drink for months in the wild, simply as there is nothing to drink! But, they perfectly hydrate at night breathing in moist air and fog, which is daily available.
In the captivity, people often let chameleons desiccate at night having night humidity levels low and then they come in with he false observation: they are heavy drinkers! They are not! They just have to compensate through drinking the wrong humidity regime of the captive care!
If you hydrate properly, you will see them reducing the water intake through drinking significantly to the spot when they might stop drinking at all!
To be safe, please provide anyway water in the form of drippers and mist if necessary (while switching off the heating lamps to avoid RI).
Now, is it a new approach?
First, chameleons do it for millions of years in their home-countries. Every day and every night.
And in captivity?
In indoor care, many (I am unhappy to say even a vast majority of) keepers destroy the natural humidity cycle in captivity, having the cages completely dry at night and misting at daytime only. Then they see chameleons heavily drink and often encounter health problems and disorders like bad shedding, infections of skin, eyes and respiratory tract...
Automatically, these colleagues who keep the chameleons outdoors, do it! Even though sometimes unknowingly.
Welcome to the world of highest standards of chameleon welfare delivered through the magic and logic of the NATURALISTIC APPROACH in their husbandry.