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

Gaza.Scoop: UNRWA School, Ambulances Attacked - Gaza MOH

The Ministry of Health Gaza expresses its horror and outrage at the latest Israeli massacre moments ago at an UNRWA school sheltering displaced persons in Beit Hanoun. Ten people have been killed and there is a large number of wounded. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On Gaza And Burning The Israeli Flag

One of the selling points in New Zealand’s campaign for a temporary seat on the Security Council is that we have a pluckily independent voice to offer on international conflicts.

This image is not entirely self-delusional. When we did occupy a temporary UN Security Council seat in the 1990s, New Zealand was forthright about the need for the international community to actively respond to the Rwanda genocide. On April 14, 1994, New Zealand, Nigeria and the Czech Republic were the only nations to call for a forceful UN intervention to halt the killings. It was a proud moment in the diplomatic record of the Bolger government.

What then, is the current National government doing with respect to the slaughter in Gaza? More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Minister Told Of FBI Investigation, Says INZ: Coleman Must Quit Or Be Sacked Over Dotcom Case - Harré

Immigration New Zealand has done the right thing in distancing itself from Jonathan Coleman’s claims that ministers were not aware of FBI involvement in Kim Dotcom’s residency application, says the Internet Party. More>>

ALSO:

Resignation Not Accepted: Transport Minister Breaches Aviation Security Rules

"Running late for a plane at Christchurch Airport, I without thought breached airport and airline security rules by entering the gate lounge through a door usually used for exit only..." More>>

ALSO:

TAIC Report: Urgent Recommendations After Melling Rail Accident

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission has made four urgent recommendations to KiwiRail following the accident two months ago (27 May) when a Matangi passenger train collided with a stop block at Melling Station, Lower Hutt. More>>

ALSO:

Red Tape: Local Regulations Go Under Microscope

The Government says it is accepting nearly all of the recommendations the Productivity Commission has made on ways to improve local regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Spending Questions: Claudette Hauiti To Step Aside At Election

National Party President Peter Goodfellow confirms that he has received notification from List MP Claudette Hauiti that she plans to step aside at the 20 September election. More>>

ALSO:

EPA: Board Of Inquiry Rejects Basin Flyover By Majority Of 3 To 1

The independent Board of Inquiry delegated to decide on the Basin Bridge Proposal has, by a majority decision (3 to 1), cancelled the Transport Agency’s Notice of Requirement and declined its resource consent applications for the construction, operation and maintenance of a flyover on State Highway 1 in Wellington City... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news