Skinks slink to new home

Submitted by shelley.fischer on Sun, 18/07/2010 - 11:25

Three Otago skinks and five grand skinks from the high country near Wanaka were released into a predator-proof enclosure yesterday on the outskirts of Christchurch as part of a breeding programme.

The $100,000 purpose-built "skinkery" is part of Isaac Wildlife Trust's 1000-hectare Peacock Springs Wildlife Park at McLeans Island.

Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson said the skinks' move was a major step for the critically endangered species, which were among New Zealand's largest lizards.

"Survival of these skinks is just as precarious as kakapo and takahe; more fragile than kiwi," she said.

It was hoped the lizards would eventually be released back into the wild.

Read more in "The Press".