New geckos add to island population

Posted at 11:28am Tuesday 14 Jul, 2020

It's not just humans who are enjoying additional freedom right now. A total of 29 adult and 19 neonate Auckland green geckos were recently released from their breeding enclosure on Tiritiri Matangi Island.

The ‘at risk' geckos (also known as elegant geckos or Naultinus elegans) were salvaged from a quarry in the Auckland region and have been cared for in a captive breeding facility on Tiritiri Matangi, a Supporters of Tiritiri Matangi (SOTM) project with significant support from Department of Conservation, members of the NZ Herpetological Society, and other expert advisors. During lockdown, the geckos were cared for by the two resident DOC rangers, Emma Dunning and Talia Hochwimmer.

The successful release was carried out by two SOTM and gecko care team members and the DOC rangers.

In the first two days of monitoring, the rangers sighted and recorded seven different individuals, mostly basking in the sun. Apart from ongoing monitoring visits the latest fauna translocation into the Tiritiri wild will be left to breed in peace.


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