Great Barrier Island Environmental News


Glenfern Sanctuary Archives - delving into past issues

The 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.


Glenfern’s Robins (Summer 2006, Issue 5) (abridged)

Tony Bouzaid reports on the progress of his robin rehabilitation programme in the Glenfern Sanctuary area of Port FitzRoy.

At the end of January we thought we had come to the end of our robin-breeding season. When Rebecca left us on the 9th she had banded 19 chicks and we still had one in the nest at B45, the only one of 3 eggs that hatched....

On the 15th Suzie found that our black petrel pair had returned and laid an egg in their burrow under the puriri tree. We checked the band to ensure the bird on the nest was one of the original parents and we set up sticks at the entrance to the burrow to wait for the parents to swap incubation...

After Judy Gilbert told me she had two pairs of robins still nesting I decided to check on mine...This brings our total of fledged robins to 21.

On March 17th driving up the Okiwi hill towards Claris, Mal sighted an unbanded robin on the side of the road. This is good news as it means that at least one pair of the robins that did not stay in the protection of the Kotuku Peninsula managed to fledge a juvenile. There may be more out there so keep your ears and eyes open.

With another possible robin sighting near the top of Hirakimata (Mt Hobson) we may be seeing a resurgence of the breed on the Barrier!

Environmental News Issue 36 Winter 2016