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Project type:
Conservation project
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Regions involved:
Top of the South

One of our monthly speakers, Simon Litchwark of Department of Conservation (DOC) Renwick, talked to the branch about the population of plague skinks established at the Riverlands/Cloudy Bay Industrial area on the outskirts of Blenheim. It was decided that the branch was interested in considering being involved in this project.

Plague skinks are native to Australia, are found in the North Island, but only two populations are established in the South Island. They produce much larger numbers of eggs than native lizards, which are in danger of being displaced. Plague skinks tend to form large populations, which can encourage diseases and predators that could seriously impact on native skink and gecko populations. 

In October 2019 a group of members carried out a pilot control session at Cloudy Bay, this demonstrated that the placing and collecting traps was easy; the main limitations were the traps/equipment needed and the requirements for suitable weather and for traps to be checked every 24 hours.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and DOC have been working on South Island plague skink control, we are now awaiting discussion and planning to put a control programme in place.


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