Lizard monitoring in the Halo

 A southern grass skink found under a lizard monitoring retreat.

A southern grass skink found under a lizard monitoring retreat.

 

This spring we started a Halo lizard monitoring project, to find out how the lizard populations in the Inner and Outer Halo are doing, and how much predator control is needed to protect lizards. Monitoring lines of artificial lizard retreats have been set up in areas with and without predator control, and will be checked throughout summer by dedicated volunteers. Lizards that might use these retreats for basking and protection are the southern grass skink (which can often been seen around the Halo scuttling through long grass) and the rock-loving korero gecko. Hopefully we might also find some less common skink species! We plan to repeat this project each summer, to track how lizards respond to our trapping efforts, and to learn what level of predator control benefits lizards. A big thanks to Jo Monks from DOC for her trusty advice, and to the landowners who are kindly hosting these monitoring lines.

Rhys Millar