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

"New Faces, Wise Heads": Andrew Little Announces New Labour Line Up

Labour Leader Andrew Little today announced a bold new caucus line up which brings forward new talent and draws on the party’s depth of experience.

“Labour has many new and highly capable MPs who will have the opportunity to prove their ability. At the same time our senior hands will be on deck to take the fight to the National-led Government and support our upcoming stars,” Andrew Little says.

“I am pleased to announce Annette King will be my deputy for the coming year. In recent weeks she has shown how crucial her wisdom and strength is to Labour. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Gordon Campbell: On Rick Ellis As Te Papa’s New CEO

The recent appointment of former TVNZ boss Rick Ellis to head Te Papa has copped a fair bit of criticism. Much of it has been inspired by the suspicion that Ellis has been hired to pursue the same purely commercial goals as he did at TVNZ, while similarly neglecting the serious cultural side of his mandate. More>>

Passport Cancellation, Surveillance: Draft 'Foreign Fighters Legislation' Released

The final draft of the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill contains proposals previously announced by Mr Key in a major national security speech earlier this month. More>>

ALSO:

Related

Joint Statement: Establishment Of NZ-China Strategic Partnership

At the invitation of Governor-General Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae and Prime Minister The Rt Hon John Key of New Zealand, President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China made a state visit to New Zealand from 19 to 21 November 2014... More>>

ALSO:


Savings Targets: Health Procurement Plan Changes Direction

Next steps in implementing DHB shared services programme Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says the Government has agreed to explore a proposal put forward by DHBs to move implementation of the shared services programme to a DHB-owned vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

More on Health Policy:

Auckland Unification: 'No IT Cost Blowout' (Just More Expensive)

Following discussion of an update on Auckland Council’s Information Services Transformational Programme at today’s Finance and Performance Committee, council has released the report publicly. More>>

ALSO:

Other Expensive Things:

Gordon Campbell: On The SAS Role Against Islamic State, And Podemos

Only 25% of the US bombing runs are even managing to locate IS targets worth bombing. As the NYT explains at length, this underlines the need for better on-the-ground intelligence to direct the air campaign to where the bad guys have holed up... More>>

ALSO:

Public Service: Commission Calls For Answers On Handling Of CERA Harassment

EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On Andrew Little’s Victory

So Andrew Little has won the leadership – by the narrowest possible margin – from Grant Robertson, and has already been depicted by commentators as being simultaneously (a) the creature of the trade unions and (b) the most centrist of the four candidates, which would be an interesting trick to see someone try in a game of Twister. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news