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.

Photo: Anna Yeoman

Photo: Anna Yeoman

Photo: Carey Knox

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Recent happenings:

May 2021: 

Some more newborn grand and Otago skinks have been spotted, along with some one and two year olds that we hadn't spotted before. We have now recorded 15 new grand skinks and 14 new Otago skinks born within the sanctuary. Last month we also spotted one of the missing Otago founders, not seen since release in 2018, showing that there's likely still lizards out there that are remaining happily out of sight! 

Read more of the latest news in our May newsletter here.

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Og011, one of this summer's first newborn grand skinks, basks under protective vegetation at Mokomoko Dryland Sanctuary. Photo: Anna Yeoman

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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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