Maui Blog - Georgie Hunter R(S): Jackson Chameleons on Maui - can you spot them?

Jackson Chameleons on Maui - can you spot them?

 Jackson Chameleons on MauiJackson Chameleons

Can you see him... the Jackson?  Sure, it's easy up close, but not so easy unless you know it's there.

These cute reptiles have become established on Maui, mostly in the upcountry area between Makawao and Kula.  They like the cooler elevations and reproduce in the trees and bushes of neighborhood gardens.  This one is a male, with the horns on the front of his head.  They have the cutest little hands and feet that grip the branches while their eyes look in two different directions.  Slow moving and careful, they're really hard to see.

jackson in a Kula bush - Kula Maui HawaiiHere's the Jackson again. 

Males can get to be about 12-13 inches long with tail (which is prehensile by the way).  Females are smaller and don't have the horns.  The babies are small - just a couple of inches!  The tonque is incredible... it shoots out and zaps flies in mid air!  You have to see it to believe it. 

Jackson Chameleons are considered an invasive species here on Maui, as they were introduced, and are now thriving.  It can wreak havoc on the delicate ecosystem when a new species comes along and has no natural predator.  It's forbidden to transport them between islands, but they are quite popular with kids of all ages, and get carried around all over the place.

female jackson chameleon in Kula Maui

 

 

Are you thinking of moving to Maui?  Looking for a home upcountry?  Let me be your guide.

 

Georgina M. Hunter R(S) - an experienced Maui Realtor

Working with Jim Sanders Realty Inc.  Paia, Maui HI 96779

808 283-0635  EMAIL  Search all Listings Here

Georgina M. Hunter - Maui Realtor

 

 

Comment balloon 13 commentsGeorgie Hunter R(S) 58089 • February 11 2008 04:31AM

Comments

Georgina, those are breathtaking photos and wonderful information.  Thank you!
Posted by Kris Wales, Real Estate Blog & Homes for Sale search site, Macomb County MI (Keller Williams Realty - Lakeside Market Center) almost 11 years ago
Kris - You're welcome - thanks for coming by and commenting.
Posted by Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089, Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info (Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers) almost 11 years ago
So are the kids hunting them? Yes the photos are great. Are local governments do anything about them since they are an invasive species?
Posted by Frank Schulte-Ladbeck (Frank Schulte-Ladbeck Professional Real Estate Inspections) almost 11 years ago
We have a few invasive lizard breeds around south Florida, too.  Monitor lizards on Cape Coral and Iguanas in Bonita Springs.  
Posted by Chris Griffith, Bonita Springs Listing Agent (Downing-Frye Realty, Bonita Springs, FL) almost 11 years ago

Frank - yes the kids love to hunt them and sell them. I think you can still buy them in the pet store too.

Nothing is really done about them, except to make people aware not to take them interisland etc.  We have some much worse invasive species to worry about and these guys seem pretty harmless.  They eat bugs, and that's a good thing.  I don't know if they are displacing anything else, as there weren't any tree dwelling lizards here to begin with.  I guess they are low impact.

 

Posted by Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089, Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info (Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers) almost 11 years ago
Nice pictures and very informative.
Posted by Pam Joffe (Solaris Realty) almost 11 years ago
Chris - monitor lizards get pretty big don't they?  Every now and then they'll find an iquana over on Oahu - an escaped pet I suppose.  Did you know it's illegal to own a snake in Hawaii?
Posted by Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089, Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info (Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers) almost 11 years ago
Deborah - I think the natural environment controls them.  They seem to be thriving in the upcountry area, but not at the hotter lower elevations.  I suspect it's because they like to drink the dew in the morning, and in some areas, we don't get dew because it doesn't get cold enough at night.  Cats prey on them.
Posted by Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089, Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info (Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers) almost 11 years ago
Pam - thanks for dropping in.
Posted by Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089, Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info (Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers) almost 11 years ago
These are really cool looking, I had no idea Maui had chameleons. They sure look well fed!
Posted by Elaine Stewart, RE/MAX Consultants Palm Desert (RE/MAX Palm Desert #1 Agent 2017 to 2010) almost 11 years ago
Elaine - they are the coolest things.  It's fascinating to watch them move and catch bugs.
Posted by Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089, Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info (Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers) almost 11 years ago
Beautiful scenery - but I'm not so sure those reptiles are cute!  :)
Posted by Sandra Workman, BBA, Broker, CRS, GRI, ABR, SFR, CNE, ePRO, CNHS (Keller Williams Preferred Realty) almost 11 years ago
Sandra - they ARE cute, especially the babies.  They move slowly so they aren't startling.
Posted by Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089, Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info (Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers) almost 11 years ago

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