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

 

Baby Tuatara Hatches on Matiu/Somes Island

Baby Tuatara Hatches on Matiu/Somes Island


Click to enlarge

A photograph taken of a baby tuatara on Wellington Harbour’s Matiu/Somes Island this month has confirmed for the first time that the rare reptiles are hatching on the island.

The juvenile, just a few months old and about 8cm long, was spotted by Harriot (8) and Nicholas Lane (10) and their cousin Harrison Vernon (11) while they were walking around the island with their grandparents Bob and Suzanne Vernon.

Tuatara were transferred to Matiu/Somes in 1998 and since then adult tuatara are regularly seen on the island. It has long been suspected that they are breeding, and this was finally proven when eggs were found on the island in 2007 and hatched at Victoria University.

But this is the first confirmation that young tuatara have hatched on the island itself.


Click to enlarge

“We are very excited about this sighting,” Department of Conservation biodiversity programme manager Brent Tandy said.

“These reptiles are very secretive and it’s remarkable that the children saw one so small.”

“With all the hard work involved in restoring and maintaining this island reserve, it’s the icing on the cake to know that such rare animals are breeding.”

From the time tuatara hatch they live independently of adults and are usually seen during the day when the adults are in their burrows.

Mr Vernon said his grandchildren had seen skinks, robins and käkäriki, and then noticed the little reptile, but did not realise what it was until it moved its head.


Click to enlarge

“It then came out of the foliage and hung around for several minutes. It seemed quite tame.”

Mr Vernon took several photos and alerted an island ranger, who confirmed it as a tuatara.

Tuatara are the only surviving members of a unique group- Rhynchocephalia- that roamed the earth 200 million years ago. Today they can only survive in areas free of mammalian predators, such as Matiu/Somes.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

57 Million Users' Data: Uber Breach "Utterly Preventatable"

Cybersecurity leader Centrify says the Uber data breach of 57 million customer and driver records - which the ride-hailing company hid for more than a year - was “utterly preventable”. More>>

Scoop 3.0: How You Can Help Scoop’s Evolution

We have big plans for 2018 as we look to expand our public interest journalism coverage, upgrade our publishing infrastructure and offer even more valuable business tools to commercial users of Scoop. More>>

Having A Cow? Dairy Product Prices Slide For Fourth Straight Auction

Dairy product prices fell at the Global Dairy Trade auction, retreating for the fourth straight auction amid signs of increased production... Whole milk powder fell 2.7 percent to US$2,778 a tonne. More>>

ALSO:

Statistics: Butter At Record $5.67/Block; High Vegetable Prices

Rising dairy prices have pushed food prices up 2.7 percent in the year to October 2017, Stats NZ said today. This followed a 3.0 percent increase in the year to September 2017. More>>

ALSO:

Science: New Research Finds Herbicides Cause Antibiotic Resistance

New University of Canterbury research confirms that the active ingredients of the commonly used herbicides, RoundUp, Kamba and 2,4-D (glyphosate, dicamba and 2,4-D, respectively), each alone cause antibiotic resistance at concentrations well below label application rates. More>>

ALSO:

CO2 And Water: Fonterra (And Dairy NZ)'s Environment Plans

Federated Farmers support Fonterra’s bold push to get to zero emissions of CO2 on the manufacturing side of the Co-operative, both in New Zealand and across its global network. More>>

ALSO: