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

 


Better survival chances for Wanaka skinks

11 April 2014

Better survival chances for Wanaka skinks

Eighty five endangered grand and Otago skinks have been collected near Wanaka in an operation led by the Department of Conservation (DOC) aimed at increasing their numbers.

Ongoing decline in western grand and Otago skink populations has prompted DOC and several other agencies to collect the skinks from their Grandview Range habitat in the Lindis. The skinks will be housed temporarily at zoos, wild life parks and ecosanctuaries throughout New Zealand, as part of a breed-for-release programme.

This programme aims to increase numbers of both species so they can be released back into secure sites within their former range, Grand and Otago Skink Project Manager Gavin Udy said.

“This project is a great example of conservation agencies and individuals working together to ensure the ongoing survival of an iconic, unique and endangered New Zealand species,” Mr Udy said. Since the collection, 21 juvenile skinks have been born in captivity from this group.

DOC’s Grand and Otago Skink Project looks after two groups of the animals – an eastern group and a western group. The eastern group near Macraes Flat is increasing as it is protected by DOC’s predator-proof fenced enclosure and extensive trapping.

Now the focus is on increasing numbers of the western group.

Other groups, organisations and stakeholders involved in the conservation effort include:

Auckland Zoo – supports predator control at key localities, staff helped with collection trips, quarantine and health screening of skinks, husbandry and technical advice. The main holder of skinks in the breed-for-release programme.

Wellington Zoo – quarantined the skinks, provided health screening and involved in the breed-for-release programme.

Kiwi Birdlife Park, Queenstown – holding and processing skinks prior to distribution to Wellington and Auckland Zoos for quarantine and long-term holding, quarantining of skinks, health screening and involvement in the breed-for-release programme.

Isaac Conservation and Wildlife Trust – involved in the breed-for-release programme.
NZ Herpetological Society – involved in the breed-for-release programme.

Zoo Aquarium Association (ZAA) – co-ordinates the conservation breed-for-release programme.

Central Otago Ecological Trust (COET) – provides a secure release site within its Mokomoko predator-proof fenced sanctuary near Alexandra.

Orokonui Ecosanctuary – provides a crèche enclosure within its predator-proof fence and provide education and advocacy for skink conservation.

University of Otago – subsidised genotyping for genetic matching of skinks.

Air New Zealand – transported the animals to safe new breeding sites around the country, through their partnership with DOC as provider of the Air New Zealand Threatened Species Translocation Programme.

DOC also thanks adjoining landowners and iwi for their support.

Background
Grand and Otago skinks are unique to Otago and are two of New Zealand’s rarest reptiles. While once widespread across most of Otago, they are now largely restricted to a small area of eastern Otago where DOC carries out intensive predator management near Macraes Flat. The small western population in the Lindis area are genetically distinct.

Otago skinks are one of New Zealand’s largest lizards, reaching up to 30cm in length and living more than 18 years in the wild.

Otago skinks are distinctly marked, which is why southern Maori know them as mokomoko. Otago skinks are black with grey, green or yellowish blotches –providing great camouflage among the lichen-covered schist rocks they inhabit.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Last Rites For The TPP

The Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal is one of those litmus issues that has always had more to do with one’s place on the political spectrum than with any imminent reality.

To date, the Greens have opposed (a) a wide range of the leaked content of the TPP (b) the secretive way it has been negotiated and (c) the undemocratic way in which any final document would be ratified. Labour has shared some of those concerns, but while remaining generally supportive of the deal itself.

National has, for its part, been very enthusiastic about the TPP, while still giving assurances about Pharmac being protected... For the TPP’s friends and foes alike though, the end now seems nigh. More>>

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On The Farcical Elevation Of David Seymour

With the election won, it’s time to find jobs for the boy. David Seymour is the Act Party’s latest scrounger to be rewarded by the National Party, and not only with a seat in Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

As Key Mulls Joining ISIS Fighting: McCully Speech To UN Backs Security Council Bid

It is an honour to address you today on behalf of the Prime Minister and Government of New Zealand. Our General Election took place last week - our Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key is engaged in forming a government and that is why he is unable to be here in New York... More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Cunliffe Triggers Party Wide Leadership Contest

David Cunliffe has resigned as Labour Leader, but says he will seek re-election... If there is any contest the election will have to go through a process involving the party membership and union affiliates. More>>

ALSO:

Flyover Appeal: Progress And Certainty, Or Confusion And More Delays?

Lindsay Shelton: The Transport Agency, embarrassed by the rejection of its flyover alongside the Basin Reserve, says it’s appealing because the decision could “constrain progress.” Yet for most clear-sighted Wellingtonians a 300-metre-long concrete structure above Kent and Cambridge Terraces would in no way be seen as progress… More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Cunliffe’s Last Stand

Right now, embattled Labour leader David Cunliffe has three options. None of them are particularly attractive for him personally, or for the Labour Party... More>>

ALSO:

Key Seeking 'New Ideas': Look To Children’s Commissioner On Poverty - Greens

John Key should not reinvent the wheel when it comes to ideas for tackling child poverty, and instead look to the recommendations of the Children’s Commissioner’s Expert Group on Child Poverty, Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei says. More>>

ALSO:

'Safe To Re-Enter' - OIA Docs: Safety Is Absolute Priority At Pike River Mine

“We understand that the time it is taking to complete our evaluation of the risks is frustrating for the family members and we are trying to complete this work as quickly as we can,” Ms Dunphy says. “It is Solid Energy’s responsibility to make this decision and we will do so, once we have all the information required to make a fully-informed decision.” More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news