Geckos now on display
Te Puia has welcomed four new residents of the reptile variety, with a group of geckos now housed in the foyer of the kiwi house.
While, there are many different lizard species globally, in New Zealand we only have geckos and skinks. These native geckos and skinks cannot be found anywhere else in the world; therefore, Te Puia is doing its part to make sure our native lizards are protected.
Each of the new members of the Te Puia family have been named to reflect their unique physical features; Manako (desire), Kōiti (small or little toe), Kōwhai (yellow) and Whiore (tail) are all yellow and green in colour and range in size.
The geckos are ‘green geckos’ (Naultinus elegans), which have an ‘At Risk’ threat status, so were a welcomed arrival at Te Puia early in the new year. Lizards are critical for ecosystem processes; they pollinate native plants and disperse native plant seeds through eating fruit.
The four geckos have also recently been joined by lizards from the forest species. Rescuing and protecting lizards is something Te Puia will continue to grow and develop.