Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Year of the Tuatara - 2009

A tuatara spotted on the upper stretch of the Turbine track at Karori Wildlife Sanctuary, Wellington. The sanctuary is "a mainland island" - an enclave surrounded by a predator-proof fence that is used to protect endangered native species as efforts are made to regenerate their numbers.

The tuatara pictured (apparently number 505 by the markings on his right side) is one of a number of tuatara introduced into the sanctuary in recent years from offshore islands where the only tuatara remained in the wild. Staff have found tuatara eggs within the sanctuary so there are increasing hopes that they will successfully reproduce in the sanctuary.

This blogger had long ago concluded he'd never see a tuatara in the "wild" so he was as stunned as the tuatara, even though this blogger knew they had been introduced to the sanctuary, when he turned a corner on the track to see the tuatara sunning itself on the track.

Some people seek 15 minutes of fame; this blogger is well-satisfied with 15 minutes of solitude with a tuatara.

May 2009 be the Year of the Tuatara.

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