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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:

Dec 2023:

This month we've welcomed a seventh lizard species into the increasingly lively dryland ecosystem at Mokomoko Dryland Sanctuary. A population of 60 Otago green skinks from a number of sites in Oteake Conservation Park have been released into the damper, vegetated area of the main gully. We're thrilled to be establishing a protected population here, they're a stunning lizard with real attitude that because of their large size are highly vulnerable to introduced predators in the wild.

 

For other news, see our latest newsletter:

 Mokomoko Newsletter

COET trustee Tom Lamb releases an Otago green skink at Mokomoko Dryland Sanctuary Dec 22nd 2023. 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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