16 Jan 2010

Rare skinks released on pest-free island

7:29 pm on 16 January 2010

Rare skinks are being released on a island in the Hauraki Gulf, which has now been declared pest-free.

The 80 shore skinks were be released on Friday on Papakohatu or Crusoe Island, situated between Motuihe and Waiheke islands.

Auckland Regional Council chairman Mike Lee says the release is of enormous personal satisfaction, as he helped eradicate a large population of mice on the island as part of his post-graduate study in 2001.

Mr Lee says it is hoped the island will also become a haven for geckos, wetas and seabirds such as the rare New Zealand storm-petrel.