Current Projects

Outlined below are our current and recent projects. Please see our Publications for information on our previous projects.

SURVEYS

  • Hawke's Bay Regional Council / MWH - Tukituki & Ngaruroro Rivers. We assisted the Hawke's Bay Regional Council, in partnership with MWH, surveying the Tukituki and Ngaruroro River Catchments for lizards in order to inform future management options for this fauna. This work involves the preparation of a regional field identification guide, and training local staff in survey methods for lizards. For more information, visit here.
  • Wellington City Council - WCC Parks & Reserves Network. We surveyed parks and reserves under Wellington City Council administration for lizards to assist in the description of the herpetofaunal assets of Council land. We provided recommendations as a result of the findings from the surveys.
  • National Wetland Trust - Serpentine Lakes. We surveyed the Serpentine Lakes in order to describe the herpetofaunal assets of the Lakes. We also provided management and monitoring recommendations.
  • Whitireia Park Restoration Group - Whitireia Park. We surveyed Whitireia Park in order to describe the herpetofaunal assets of Whitireia Park. We also provided park management recommendations as a result of the survey findings.
  • Department of Conservation - Data Deficient Nevis skink. We undertook an expedition to the subalpine zone of the Nevis Valley in order to search for, collect data on and assign a Threat status to the Nevis skink, Oligosoma toka.
  • Department of Conservation - Data Deficient Cupola gecko. We undertook an expedition to the alpine and subalpine zone of Nelson Lakes National Park in order to search for, collect data on and assign a Threat status to the Cupola gecko, Mokopirirakau sp.

ASSESSMENTS OF ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS (AEE) / ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENTS (EIA)

  • Special Housing Areas. We undertook surveys and Assessment of Environmental Effects for lizards for various SHA's in the Auckland region.
  • Belmont Quarry Extension. We undertook a lizard survey & Assessment of Environmental Effects for Winstone Aggregates' Belmont Quarry.
  • Dry Creek Replacement Cleanfilll. We undertook a lizard survey and Assessment of Environmental Effects for Winstone Aggregates' Dry Creek Replacement Cleanfill.
  • Christchurch Southern Motorway. We undertook an Assessment of Environmental Effects for lizards for NZTA's Christchurch Southern Motorway.

LIZARD MANAGEMENT PLANS (LMPs)

  • Belmont Quarry Extension. We prepared a LMP for Winstone Aggregates' Belmont Quarry, which included translocation of a gecko to an offshore island.
  • Christchurch Southern Motorway. We developed a specialised management plan to mitigate the adverse effects of the motorway on the resident lizard populations.
  • Transmission Gully Motorway. We developed a specialised management plan to mitigate the adverse effects of NZTA's Transmission Gully Motorway on the resident lizard population.

POPULATION MONITORING

  • Landcare Research - Conservation Flagships. We led two projects over five-years (2009-2013) in partnership with Landcare Research, measuring forest lizard species recovery and post-translocation population trends in three 'biodiversity sanctuaries' (Zealandia/Karori Wildlife Sanctuary, Boundary Stream Mainland Island, Windy Hill Pest Management Project) and an offshore island (Mana Island). The aim of the forest lizard recovery project was to demonstrate (i) lizard population responses to predator-removal or management, and the second project is (ii) to follow up the establishment of a translocated species (Duvaucel's gecko, Hoplodactylus duvaucelii) on Mana Island. This work was funded by the New Zealand Government's Ministry for Science and Innovation.
  • Auckland Council - Lizard Monitoring Programmes. We assisted the Auckland Council in initiating long-term lizard monitoring programmes across four sites, to measure potential responses to predator control or removal. These sites are Tawharanui Regional Park, Shakespear Regional Park, Ark in the Park, and Whakanewha Regional Park. Forest & Bird Waitakere Branch provided funding towards the Ark in the Park component.
  • Greater Wellington Regional Council - Lizard Monitoring Programme. We designed a experimental-based lizard monitoring programme for a site with high lizard values administered by the Greater Wellington Regional Council, and are undertaking the actual monitoring work. This monitoring is intended to assess lizard population trends under different management regimes.
  • Mt Cass Wind Farm. We are undertaking a long-term lizard population monitoring programme to measure the response of the local lizard fauna to management implemented by the Mt Cass Wind Farm Environmental Management Plan. We also developed the herpetofaunal component of the management plan for MainPower. For some information on our earlier work on the Assessment of Environmental Effects on lizards & Environment Court, visit here.

MULTI-FACETED RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PROJECTS

  • OceanaGold - Coronation Project (ongoing). We are undertaking a lizard survey, management planning, mitigation & monitoring programme for OceanaGold's Coronation Project.
  • OceanaGold - Macraes Phase III (ongoing). We undertook a lizard survey, mitigation & monitoring programme for OceanaGold's Macraes Phase III Project.

CONSERVATION RESEARCH AND MANAGEMENT

  • NZ Lizards Database. Trent Bell is the project leader of the NZ Lizards Database developed by the Informatics group at Landcare Research. This project was funded by the New Zealand Government's Terrestrial and Freshwater Biodiversity Information System (TFBIS) Programme, which is administered by the Department of Conservation (DOC). This 'knowledge-base' digital resource consists of two parts: an encyclopaedic 'species synopses' for immediate in-depth information on all species, and an annotated bibliography where the literature from 1769 to the present day can be searched. The two parts enable different groups of stakeholders to retrieve the information necessary to make progress in conservation management or research.

  • Oligosoma skink Conservation Management Units. We are undertaking taxonomic investigations in order to formally describe at least 12 skink species within the following species complexes:
    • Oligosoma polychroma (common skink, five putative species/clades)
    • Oligosoma infrapunctatum (speckled skink, including one Nationally Critical species, and also the Nationally Vulnerable southern North Island speckled skink)
    • Oligosoma chloronoton-Oligosoma lineoocellatum (green and spotted skink, including three Nationally Vulnerable species)
    This work was funded by the Department of Conservation's Conservation Management Units Fund.

  • Jewelled gecko / Setpoint / DOC. Carey Knox is working on jewelled gecko conservation and research in partnership with Setpoint and the Department of Conservation. This work includes on-going monitoring of key populations of jewelled geckos on Otago Peninsula, surveying areas of potential habitat throughout Otago, establishing predator monitoring and control at gecko sites and radio telemetry studies.