Iconic Species Stages Dramatic Recovery


Adult Chevron Skink in Glenfern Sanctuary. Photo: Ben BarrThe largest and most endangered lizard in NZ; the chevron skink is alive and well in Glenfern Sanctuary. Ben Barr, currently doing fieldwork towards a Master’s Degree on the impact of rats on chevron skinks, has caught 50 chevrons in two mature valley catchments in Glenfern Sanctuary. These range in size from neo natal at 100mm to full size adults at 350mm. Miniature transmitters have been attached to three adults to monitor their dynamics in varying environments and weather conditions.

Only 300 chevrons have been found in the wild since they were first discovered on Little Barrier and Great Barrier Islands so to have 50 turn up in two valleys on Glenfern Sanctuary is remarkable.

Rat and cat control in Glenfern Sanctuary over the last seven years may have had an impact on the ability of these skinks to survive. The pest exclusion fence now under construction across the peninsula can only enhance their survival rate.

“I feel privileged to have this iconic endangered species living so close on our property and to be able to provide a safe environment for their continued survival,” says Tony Bouzaid, Chairman of the Glenfern Sanctuary Charitable Trust.