February 12, 2024
Tuatara thrive on Tiritiri Matangi
A survey of tuatara on Tiritiri Matangi captured and tagged 76 of the ancient reptile species, including one weighing more than a kilogram.
Ten were from the group of 60 northern tuatara moved from the Mercury Islands in 2003, a century after the last tuatara was sighted on the Hauraki Gulf island.
Survey team leader Graham Ussher says it indicates strong population growth and a significant increase in numbers for the rare and long-lived species.
He says individual animals were plump, fit and healthy, emphasising the abundant insect foods that the island supports after 40 years of active restoration by the public conservation group Supporters of Tiritiri Matangi Incorporated, volunteers and DOC.