New Zealand's first true dryland sanctuary is bringing the lizards back to Central Otago. 

Mokomoko Dryland Sanctuary is New Zealand’s first fully-fenced dryland sanctuary, with a vision of restoring to a small patch of Central Otago the unique ecosystem that existed before human settlement.

 

The focus of this community sanctuary is the diverse and beautiful lizard species that once lived in these drylands, sun basking on the rocky tors and clambering through the scrub.

Watch:

In late 2019 a survey was carried out to see how well the translocated lizards were going.

Get a behind the scenes look at the running of Mokomoko Dryland Sanctuary.

Recent happenings:

Nov 2022: Last month, the annual DOC survey of grand and Otago skinks at the sanctuary recorded the highest numbers yet - 29 grand skinks and 28 Otago skinks were sighted over the three days. This included four new babies of each species, and one of the Otago founders that hadn't been seen since release. 

While Carey Knox was helping with the DOC survey, he also surveyed for moths. He's now recorded 60 different moth species at Mokomoko. His beautiful report can be viewed here: Mokomoko Moth Survey

Photo: Carey Knox

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With grateful thanks to our major supporters:

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Schist gecko. Carey Knox

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Slideshow photos top of page: 1. Otago skink, Carey Knox.     2. Mokomoko Dryland Sanctuary. Anna Yeoman.   3.  Jewelled gecko, Carey Knox.      4. Melicytus alpinus. Anna Yeoman.   5. Mokomoko Dryland Sanctuary.     6. McCanns skink. Carey Knox. 

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