11 July 2023
On the 31st May 2023, 43 copper skinks were released to Te Tūī a Tāne, southern enclosure as a salvage translocation procedure. Sourced from a development site at Rotokauri (Edin Rotokauri), the translocation was a collaborative effort between mana whenua (source iwi Ngati Mahanga and Ngati Wairere), Hamilton Zoo, Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari, MADE and Wildlands Consultants.
The salvage and translocation was coordinated by Stephanie Iremonger from WTP NZ Project Management Limited, approved by DOC and supported by many others. In short it is amazing how much effort goes in to helping our native wildlife find a new home!
Copper skinks (Oligosoma aeneum) are already found at Maungatautari so it is not a new species for us, but there were no safe habitats near the development site and the decision was made to welcome them here at Maungatautari. The skinks spent nearly a month at Hamilton Zoo, who did a fantastic job at looking after them in captivity and completing disease screening and general health assessments on each individual skink. We trust the skinks will settle in well in their new home and we hope to be able to monitor them with our annual lizard surveys.