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2. Lizard surveying and monitoring on Rangitoto and Motutapu Location: Rangitoto, Hauraki Gulf

Partner Organisation: Department of Conservation

Project Objective: The objectives of regular, on-going involvement in this field project are to: 1. Support the local DOC office in surveying/monitoring a key Hauraki Gulf predatorfree island with vast reintroduction potential. 2. Add to the knowledge of lizard diversity and biology on the island 3. Contribute useful data to the consideration of translocating new lizard species to the island In terms of staff field skill experience and development, this project: 1. Enables Ectotherm (and other) staff to be engaged in a local project, ensuring regular and reliable, field opportunities. 2. Provides reliable lizard encounters, thereby significantly increasing staff familiarity with and confidence in lizard handling, processing and data collection in the field. 3. Provides staff with valuable project planning and management skill development. Project Description: The zoo’s Ectotherm team became involved in regular lizard monitoring fieldwork on Rangitoto and Motutapu Islands with the Department of Conservation in the summer of 2011-2012 and has subsequently taken on the monitoring of Rangitoto while DOC concentrate efforts on Motutapu. Two monitoring site ‘circuits’ have been established on Rangitoto. Each site has a mixture of pitfall buckets and artificial cover objects (ACO’s) and some sites have additional wooden “lizard houses”. Each of the two circuits take approximately 5-7 hours to complete. Each circuit is surveyed once per month during spring, summer and autumn, which entails two trips per month. Trips are reduced to once a month during winter. Each trip is for 3 days. On the first day, pitfall traps are opened and baited, traps are checked on the second day and on the third day, all traps are checked, bait removed and traps closed. All the original DOC-positioned reptile sites were located around the coast. Zoo staff were interested in investigating the distribution of reptiles inland, so expanded the monitoring area to include an additional five sites, which were installed by Zoo and DOC staff. During the last year of monitoring, zoo staff have found lizards at all new sites apart from one, located in the middle of the crater. The numbers of common gecko (Woodworthia maculatus) have increased over the year and zoo staff found 91

Profile for Auckland Zoo

Auckland Zoo Field Conservation Report 2013/14  

Auckland Zoo field conservation report - 2013 / 2014

Auckland Zoo Field Conservation Report 2013/14  

Auckland Zoo field conservation report - 2013 / 2014

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