Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


On the lookout for lizards

On the lookout for lizards

Wellington green
gecko, DOC
Click to enlarge

Wellington green gecko, DOC


Date: 10 November 2008


On the lookout for lizards

Conservation staff on the DOC Poneke area-managed Matiu/Somes Island in Wellington Harbour are preparing for an exciting arrival on Friday’s 10 am ferry sailing.

15 rare Wellington green geckos, seven of which have spent the last twelve months on ‘sabbatical’ at the city’s Karori Sanctuary, are being released on the island on Friday 15 November as part of an annual translocation programme – the largest to date.

DOC first began translocating green geckos to the island sanctuary in 2006 to create a self-sustaining population on this predator-free island. They have been working with local lizard breeders to ensure a genetically diverse supply of geckos for release on a yearly basis. This year, 16 lucky local school children with a special interest in conservation have been chosen to take part in the release.

‘Establishing a safe population on Matiu/Somes will help ensure survival’, said DOC biodiversity ranger Brent Tandy.

Local lizard enthusiasts and conservation projects like Karori Sanctuary play a critical support role for DOC’s gecko recovery programme in terms of both advocacy and breeding. One year old animals are taken to the Sanctuary for display in a special gecko enclosure before being released on the island at two years old.

‘Having these animals on display at the Sanctuary has helped us discover a population of geckos we didn’t even know we had’ said Sanctuary education officer Tom Lynch

‘Despite their distinctive colour, green geckos are surprisingly hard to spot. By enabling visitors to see these animals close up, and to learn about their behaviour, we hoped our visitors could help us find out if we had a wild population. Shortly after we established the enclosure, we got the first confirmed sighting of a green gecko in the Sanctuary Valley for 30 years!’

The Wellington green gecko is unique to the lower North Island and is in gradual decline due to habitat loss and predation by introduced species. Vulnerable from a range of predators including cats, hedgehogs, rats and mice, all lizards are fully protected, which means they can be handled but not kept in captivity without permission. Mapping out populations in the region gives DOC better understanding of where they are found and how healthy these populations are.


Do you have geckos in your garden?

The Department of Conservation would like to hear about sightings of Wellington green geckos. These animals are bright green, often marked by two rows of yellow cream to white blotches, and the inside of their mouth is blue. Usually found in forested areas these well-camouflaged omnivores have been found in suburbs across Wellington City and the Hutt Valley.
There are measures people can take to offer protection for lizards in their own gardens, including planting and creating artificial cover like rock piles or old tiles.

‘Divaricating or complex shrubs like the shrubby tororaro, matagouri or speargrasss can help protect lizards form predators’, said DOC’s Brent Tandy.

‘Clump-forming plants such as cabbage tree, flax or swamp sedge are also good and ground covers like ferns, tussocks and rengarenga lilies can help provide retreat.’

Sightings of green geckos should be reported to DOC’s Poneke Area Office on 04 472 5821.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Sky City : Auckland Convention Centre Cost Jumps By A Fifth

SkyCity Entertainment Group, the casino and hotel operator, is in talks with the government on how to fund the increased cost of as much as $130 million to build an international convention centre in downtown Auckland, with further gambling concessions ruled out. The Auckland-based company has increased its estimate to build the centre to between $470 million and $530 million as the construction boom across the country drives up building costs and design changes add to the bill.
More>>

ALSO:

RMTU: Mediation Between Lyttelton Port And Union Fails

The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining. More>>

Earlier:

Science Policy: Callaghan, NSC Funding Knocked In Submissions

Callaghan Innovation, which was last year allocated a budget of $566 million over four years to dish out research and development grants, and the National Science Challenges attracted criticism in submissions on the government’s draft national statement of science investment, with science funding largely seen as too fragmented. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Spark, Voda And Telstra To Lay New Trans-Tasman Cable

Spark New Zealand and Vodafone, New Zealand’s two dominant telecommunications providers, in partnership with Australian provider Telstra, will spend US$70 million building a trans-Tasman submarine cable to bolster broadband traffic between the neighbouring countries and the rest of the world. More>>

ALSO:

More:

Statistics: Current Account Deficit Widens

New Zealand's annual current account deficit was $6.1 billion (2.6 percent of GDP) for the year ended September 2014. This compares with a deficit of $5.8 billion (2.5 percent of GDP) for the year ended June 2014. More>>

ALSO:

Still In The Red: NZ Govt Shunts Out Surplus To 2016

The New Zealand government has pushed out its targeted return to surplus for a year as falling dairy prices and a low inflation environment has kept a lid on its rising tax take, but is still dangling a possible tax cut in 2017, the next election year and promising to try and achieve the surplus pledge on which it campaigned for election in September. More>>

ALSO:

Job Insecurity: Time For Jobs That Count In The Meat Industry

“Meat Workers face it all”, says Graham Cooke, Meat Workers Union National Secretary. “Seasonal work, dangerous jobs, casual and zero hours contracts, and increasing pressure on workers to join non-union individual agreements. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news