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Tuatara Population Thriving on Tiritiri Matangi Island, Two Decades After Reintroduction

Thursday 8 February 2024, 10:03AM

By Expert Briefing

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WHANGAPARAOA

A recent survey has shown that the population of tuatara on Tiritiri Matangi island in New Zealand is thriving 20 years after their reintroduction.

The 2003 translocation of 60 tuatara from Middle Island to Tiritiri Matangi has resulted in a significant increase in numbers of the species, which is rare and long-lived.

A recent survey captured and tagged a total of 76 unique tuatara, with a further three untagged tuatara sighted.

Of these, 10 were founding tuatara that were brought to the island in 2003.

The largest tuatara weighed 1,100g and measured 642mm, while the smallest weighed 80g and measured 295mm.

The CEO of Booster Wine Group, which supports the conservation efforts, said the survey's success showed the real progress the project was making in preserving the species.