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

 

Land Swap: Setback For Ruataniwha Scheme As Forest & Bird Wins Appeal

The Royal Forest & Bird Protection Society has won an appeal against a proposed land swap by the Department of Conservation which would have allowed 22 hectares of Ruahine Forest Park be flooded as part of the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme that will provide irrigation for farmers. More>>

ALSO:

Up: Official July Crime Stats Released

Official crime statistics for July 2016 show that Police recorded 11,171 more victimisations than the same period last year, which equates to a 2.3 per cent increase. More than three quarters of this increase can be attributed to burglaries. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Judith Collins Charm Offensive

Suddenly, Judith Collins is everyone’s new best friend. It isn’t an election year, but the Corrections/Police Minister is treating 2016 as an opportunity for a political makeover… Feel that the Police don’t attend burglaries often enough, or assiduously enough? She’s the peoples’ champ on that one. More>>

PM's Press Conference: Crime And Diplomacy

The Prime Minister's press conference today was dominated by foreign affairs and an open letter from the PM to the Chinese community on crime. More>>

ACC: Govt Caught In Unethical Cluster Bomb Investments

The ACC Fund admitted that it had $1.4 million invested in cluster munitions and nuclear weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin. Before responding to the Green Party’s request for information,however, ACC sold its Lockheed investment and updated its ethical investment policy. More>>

ALSO:

Local Governments To Decide: Easter Trading Bill Passes

The union representing working people in the retail industry is condemning the Government for whipping its MPs to pass the controversial Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill. More>>

ALSO:

Departure Speech: Governor-General’s State Farewell Luncheon

"...Unfortunately I was unable to get to the Antarctic, the Chatham Islands and the Kermadecs. A dicky heart thwarted our travel to the Antarctic; and even though I volunteered to parachute into the Kermadecs to join the Young Blake expedition, time, commitments and officials frustrated my plans to visit the Kermadecs and Chathams." More>>

ALSO:

New Research: Most Homeless People Working Or Studying

“The cost of housing has been rising without corresponding increases in income, whilst the number of state houses per capita has been in decline. Many low-income people are missing out on housing, whether we recognise them as ‘homeless’ or not. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Traynor: New Offender Info Sharing Plan

“This Bill delivers on that step-change by moving away from name-based records held by individual agencies to a shared, anchor identity based on unalterable information, such as fingerprints and facial recognition. It also gives agencies access to the drivers’ licence photo database and birth, death and marriages information." More>>

  • NZ Law Foundation - New $2M fund for research on information challenges
  • Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Regional
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news