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The week’s good news: November 5, 2020

For the first time in 100 years, researchers spotted the Voeltzkow’s chameleon in northwestern Madagascar, its natural habitat. In a paper published Friday in the Salamandra journal, researchers from Germany and Madagascar wrote that they saw several living Voeltzkow’s chameleons during a recent expedition, including, for the first time, the female of the species. Females, The Associated Press reports, display “particularly colorful patterns during pregnancy, when encountering males, and when stressed.” It’s believed that Voeltzkow’s chameleons live only for a few months, during the rainy season. This, and the fact that their habitats are threatened by fires and deforestation, made it difficult for researchers to find and study them. It was a major accomplishment to track down the chameleons, the scientists wrote in their paper, adding, “Rediscoveries of ‘lost’ species are very important as they provide crucial data for conservation measures and also bring some hope amidst the biodiversity crisis.” [CNN, The Associated Press]

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