New Zealand's Duvaucel's giant geckos: Where are they now?......2 Dec 2016

Elizabeth Freer

Active member
These giant geckos have made a very recent comeback!

Giant gecko returns to the mainland after a century


"Duvaucel's geckos have been reintroduced to the mainland wilderness at Tawharanui Open Sanctuary after an absence of 100 years.

"They're our biggest gecko but after being hammered by introduced pests Duvaucel's gecko haven't been seen in the wild on the New Zealand mainland for over a century.

"Now eagle-eyed visitors to the Tawharanui Open Sanctuary, part of Tawharanui Regional Park in north Auckland, have the chance to spot them, after 80 were successfully reintroduced behind the predator-proof fence in November.

"The 588 hectare Tāwharanui Open Sanctuary is predator-free apart from mice and scientists led by Dr. Manuela Barry from Massey University plan to monitor the impact these little beasties have on the native gecko population over a 10 year period.

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"Manuela Barry of Massey University holding one of the Duvaucel's gecko along with TOSSI supporters Genevieve and Tabitha Becroft at the Tawharanui Open Sanctuary release.

"Duvaucel's geckos are also found on Tiritiri Matangi Island off Whangaparaoa Peninsula after 19 were released in 2006, followed by a further 92. But Tiritiri Matangi has no mice and the Tawharanui release will help to understand what would happen if mice made it onto offshore reserve islands.

"The mice are known to predate shore skinks in the sand dunes, Auckland Council Open Sanctuary Senior Ranger Matt Maitland says, although they have managed to maintain their numbers."

Click: Giant gecko returns to the mainland after a century |

Thanks to Nicolas Defabiani for sharing. :biggrin:
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