Sabine Melzer from EcoGecko holds a common gecko that she found under a rock at Moa Point (images: A. Ballance)
New Zealand is often called the Land of Birds – but maybe Land of Lizards is just as apt. There are more than a hundred species of geckos and skinks in New Zealand, and in the hope of meeting one or two of these elusive creatures Alison Ballance joined Sabine Melzer from EcoGecko on a late afternoon Wellington lizard hunt.
It was a warm day, and Sabine’s search method was to turn over warmed rocks looking for common geckos and common skinks soaking up the heat in safe darkness.
EcoGecko is a small consultancy specialising in lizards and frogs, and it has been working on a survey of lizards in Wellington’s parks and reserves.
If you find a gecko or skink from anywhere in the country and want to report it, the Department of Conservation's Amphibian and Reptile Distribution Scheme (ARDS) is the process in which location records are deposited into DOC BioWeb Herpetofauna database: you can fill in a report form on the EcoGecko website, and a good photo or two will help identify what species it is.