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Scoop: On the lookout for lizards
Wellington green gecko, DOC
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Conservation staff on the DOC Poneke area-managed Matiu/Somes Island in Wellington Harbour are preparing for an exciting arrival on Friday’s 10 am ferry sailing.

15 rare Wellington green geckos, seven of which have spent the last twelve months on ‘sabbatical’ at the city’s Karori Sanctuary, are being released on the island on Friday 15 November as part of an annual translocation programme – the largest to date.

DOC first began translocating green geckos to the island sanctuary in 2006 to create a self-sustaining population on this predator-free island. They have been working with local lizard breeders to ensure a genetically diverse supply of geckos for release on a yearly basis. This year, 16 lucky local school children with a special interest in conservation have been chosen to take part in the release.

‘Establishing a safe population on Matiu/Somes will help ensure survival’, said DOC biodiversity ranger Brent Tandy.

Local lizard enthusiasts and conservation projects like Karori Sanctuary play a critical support role for DOC’s gecko recovery programme in terms of both advocacy and breeding. One year old animals are taken to the Sanctuary for display in a special gecko enclosure before being released on the island at two years old.

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Island home planned for lizard species and rescue bid for seagrass – 20 Aug 2007 – Pollution news – NZ Herald

Eight species of lizards are to be relocated to a local island as part of a plan designed to improve the health of Whangarei Harbour.

The plan, funded by Marsden Pt port owner Northport Ltd through a 10-year, $500,000 Whangarei Harbour Health Improvement fund, also includes work to restore beds of undersea grass.

Friends of Matakohe/Limestone Island Society intend to transfer eight lizard species to the island off suburban Onerahi in Whangarei Harbour.

Northport’s fund is granting $10,660 to cover first-year costs of the three-year lizard relocation project.

Planning for the relocation has been going on for about 10 years and involves sourcing lizards from mainland and island sites before quarantining and testing them for diseases.

The reptiles will then be moved to Matakohe/Limestone Island. more

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Scoop: Matiu/Somes Island a resort for ‘lounge lizards’

Reptiles being rescued from the perils of city life to enjoy the tranquillity of Matiu/Somes Island are to be outfitted in the style of lounge lizards sporting “ipods”.

Green geckos rescued from the clutches of urban cats or raised in captivity, will be fitted out with tiny green “lounging” jackets before starting a new life on the Department of Conservation-managed sanctuary in Wellington Harbour later this year. It’s not about protecting them from Wellington’s notorious winds, or creating a reptilian fashion statement.

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Skink discovery excites scientists – New Zealand news on Stuff.co.nz

Hollywood has its dinosaur-infested lost islands, now one of New Zealand’s last unspoilt wildernesses can boast a few reptilian surprises of its own.

The Sinbad Valley, tucked away in a corner of Fiordland, has revealed a range of weird and wonderful new species over the years, including wetas and other insects.

But now a handful of never before seen lizards – distant relatives of dinosaurs – have set scientists’ pulses racing.

“It was a funny-looking bugger, with huge eyes and big feet. I knew it was something not known to science.”

photograph by rod morris

his amazing collection

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