Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Wanted: information on local lizards

NEWS RELEASE
21 February 2013

Wanted: information on local lizards

Wellington City Council is calling for the city’s eco-sleuths to help out with a survey of the Capital’s lizard population. Information on the whereabouts of the city’s various native skinks and geckos will put us in a better position to protect them.

Wellington Green Gecko.


Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says that although we might not see the secretive reptiles very often, Wellington is actually home to at least eight distinct species of lizards – including the striking Wellington green gecko.

“Overall numbers have declined due to loss of habitat and predation by cats and other introduced mammals. This survey should help us get a better idea of the distribution of species. We can then work with local communities to look after them.”

According to Mayor Wade-Brown, the survey, which begins today, will be similar to one recently carried out by Massey University student Kerry Charles to monitor the city’s kākā population.

“These are part of Our Living City, a broad-based initiative, which aims to make Wellington an even healthier place to live for all our inhabitants – whether they are plants, animals or humans. Our biodiversity is one of the things that make Wellington such an interesting place to live.”

EcoGecko Consultants – a team that specialises in monitoring and protecting New Zealand’s lizard populations – will help the Council with the survey. However the Council’s Environment Portfolio Leader, Councillor Helene Ritchie says the survey will also need support from the public.

“Geckos and skinks are an important part of Wellington’s biodiversity. It would be wonderful if people could help make this extremely worthy project a success by reporting any lizard sightings and providing us with information about these fascinating creatures.”


Greenzilla (low res).jpg


Helpful observations would include details about the location, a photo or description of the lizard – such as its colour, size and species – and the date and time it was seen. Lizard sightings can be reported by emailing sabine@ecogecko.co.nz or calling 027 341 7373.

Native lizard facts:

• New Zealand has only two kinds of lizards – geckos and skinks. However we have an exceptional amount of diversity, with at least 80 species identified – most of them are found nowhere else in the world. This is unique for an island group of our size and latitude.

• Our geckos are some of the world’s most primordial. It’s likely they are descended from an ancient family that lived in the New Zealand region before its separation from Gondwanaland 80 million years ago.

• They are long-lived animals, with some of our species living up to 40 years.

• Geckos have broad heads with large bulging eyes, clearly defined necks, and soft, velvety-looking skin that is covered in very small, granular scales.

• Skinks are more slender with narrow heads and small eyes. They have smooth, shiny, fish-like scales on the surface of their skin.

• Skinks and geckos both feed on insects and fruit and possess excellent senses of sight, smell and hearing.

• Both groups can lose their tails – which can distract predators while the animal escapes.

• Almost all of our lizards give birth to live young, which makes them unique (most lizards lay eggs).

• Being cold blooded creatures, in order to survive skinks and geckos have to raise their body temperature by extracting heat from the sun’s rays and from rock surfaces.

• You can make your garden a more lizard-friendly habitat by:
• providing crevices where lizards can hide
• planting dense, prickly shrubs and native grasses where lizards can escape predators
• minimising use of insecticide and herbicide sprays
• planting berry and nectar-producing plants to give lizards year-round food
• and making ‘lizard hotels’ with corrugated iron.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Royals: The Prince Of Wales And Duchess Of Cornwall To Visit

Prime Minister John Key welcomes today’s announcement that the Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will visit New Zealand in November. This will be the second joint visit for Their Royal Highnesses to New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Tracey Martin Replaced: Ron Mark Is New New Zealand First Deputy Leader

Clayton Mitchell was the successful candidate for the Associate Whip position. Winston Peters was re-elected as Leader by the Caucus. Ron Mark was elected as the Deputy Leader with effect from 10am, Friday, 3rd July. More>>

ALSO:

Rebuild Rebrand: "Regenerate Christchurch" To Replace CERA

The regeneration of Christchurch will be the city’s focus for the next five years as local leadership progressively takes control of the rebuild, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says. More>>

ALSO:

Nauru: Scholars Urge Minister To Act On Deteriorating Democracy

“Since the 2013 election in Nauru, there has been a series of disturbing developments on the islands that indicate a severe deterioration in the state of its parliamentary democracy and in the rule of law,” say the scholars. More>>

ALSO:

Foreign Affairs: NZ Begins Presidency Of UN Security Council

Prime Minister John Key has welcomed the start of New Zealand’s month-long Presidency of the United Nations Security Council in New York. More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Cash For Charter Schools, Mould For State Schools

“Recently released financial statements show the Whangarei charter school He Puna Marama received $3.9 million in government funding to the end of last year. Yet their audited accounts show they only spent $1.4 million on education, leaving almost $2.5 million over two years unaccounted for." More>>

ALSO:

Kiwirail Plans Shift From Electric: National Urged Not To Take Backwards Step

The National Government shouldn’t drag New Zealand backwards by replacing its climate friendly electric trains with carbon-polluting diesel trains, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Capital Connection:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news