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Rare Skinks Released at ZEALANDIA

Rare Skinks Released at ZEALANDIA

Wellington, NZ - Wellington's newest reptilian residents settled down into their new home at ZEALANDIA today, as 45 rare spotted skinks were transferred from Matiu/Somes Island.

This is the first new species in over five years to be transferred into the native wildlife sanctuary, and the first ever lizard species.

"It's great to be able to bring more new species into the valley," said ZEALANDIA Conservation Manager Raewyn Empson. "This is the eighteenth species translocation here, and we're expecting it to be as successful as the others."

The crowd gathered around to hear speeches from Mayor Celia Wade-Brown and an official welcome and karakia from the kaitiaki Taranaki Whānui, before watching rangers release the skinks with the help of some lucky local kids.

"Wellington is a flourishing eco-city and leading the way in reintroducing biodiversity to our urban heart," said Mayor Wade-Brown of the transfer, "Skinks are endangered by predators so Zealandia is an awesome place for more to breed."

Spotted skinks are classified as an 'at risk' species.

ENDS

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