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Driving Creek Wildlife Sanctuary trustees Wailin and Tom Elliott releasing two Coromandel Striped Geckos

"A pair of rare geckos have been released into the wilds of the Coromandel Peninsula

The safe environment of the Driving Creek Wildlife Sanctuary is the new home for a male and female Coromandel Striped Gecko.

It is hoped they will become a breeding pair.

They will join 15 of the known 32 animals discovered in New Zealand since the first recorded sighting in 1998.

Sanctuary trustee Wailin Elliot said the two geckos have been held in captivity for the past six years by herpetologist Doug Ashby so observations could be made of these secretive animals.

"Over that time the Department of Conservation learned much about their growth rates," she said.

Prior to releasing the gecko DOC staff members, Rob Chappell and Les Moran fitted each gecko with a tiny 0.7 gram radio transmitter and for the following 10 days tracked their movements three to four times a day over a 24-hour period.

Elliot said the release and subsequent observations of these two was the first attempt by DOC to better understand their natural habits.

"Very little is known about their habits in the wild so it is very exciting going forward as to what we will find out," she said.

DOC would welcome any reports of sightings and any photos of Coromandel striped geckos. Contact Chappell on 027 475 0982 or rchappell@doc.govt.nz"......Jill Cleave, author

Click: Rare geckos released into the wild after six years in captivity | Stuff.co.nz

Thanks to Kowhai the Grumpy Gecko