2016 Photo Contest, Nature, Stories, 3rd prize

Chameleon Under Pressure


Christian Ziegler

National Geographic

16 November, 2014

A juvenile two-banded chameleon stalks through a recently burned landscape. Fires are often deadly for chameleons, as they can't move fast enough to escape. The practice of burning land at the end of every dry season has affected many species of chameleon, both directly through fatalities and indirectly due to habitat loss.

Chameleons are an ancient group of lizards, with more than 170 described species, living in habitats that range from rain forests to deserts, and from sub-tropical coastlines to 4,000-meter-high mountains. According to the Species Survival Commission’s Chameleon Specialist Group, over a third of the world’s chameleon species are threatened with extinction.

About the photographer

Christian Ziegler

He is a regular contributor to National Geographic magazine and has been widely published in other magazines such as Geo, Smithsonian, and BBC Wildlife. Christian’s aim is to hig...

Technical information

Shutter Speed
Focal length
21 mm

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