February 11, 2020
Rawhiti hapu help giant gecko revival
An iwi-backed initiative to re-introduce New Zealand’s biggest lizard species into the Bay of Islands is showing early signs of success.
Te Rāwhiti hapū Ngāti Kuta and Patukaha helped release 50 Duvaucel’s geckos onto an unidentified island in the Ipipiri chain.
Project Island Song director Richard Robbins says in the two years since then population numbers have grown, with encouraging signs in both reproduction and dispersal.
He says the hapū, working with the Department of Conservation and volunteers, have helped keep the islands pest-free, which is essential to the success of the project,
Duvaucel’s geckos do not lay eggs but give birth to live young.
They can reach up to 30 centimetres in length, and have a large head, long toes and extended pads.
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