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Saving Auckland's lizard fauna

Recent changes in Auckland Council’s resource consenting process have given local lizard fauna a fighting chance at survival in the face of the region’s rapidly growing development sector.  In a bid to streamline ecological resource consent conditions, landowners looking to undertake works that may affect indigenous skinks and geckos are now increasingly responsible for taking measures to protect them.   Auckland Wildlands herpetologist Jacqui Wairepo has been lucky enough to rescue a number of forest geckos (Mokopirirakau granulatus) and copper skinks (Oligosoma aeneum) in recent months, and relocate them safely to areas protected from future development. 

New Zealand’s lizard fauna is highly cryptic and under constant threat from predation and habitat degradation. With at least two thirds of species in Auckland classified as ‘At Risk’, this makes successful lizard salvage operations increasingly important for the longevity of these taonga.