Stephen Challands reports that New Zealand has over forty species of native geckos, at least two of which are present in Tawa Bush reserves, and also some Tawa gardens.
The Barking gecko is active during the day. It is usually found amongst foliage, but this species is very difficult to observe. It is bright green in colour.
The Ngahere gecko can be active during both day and at night. It is usually found on trees and shrubs (both native and exotic), where it sun basks on warm days. It is patterned and grey or brown in appearance.
Both species are secretive, well camouflaged animals and feed on insects, fruits and nectar. They are thought to be declining on mainland New Zealand, due to predation by introduced mammals, habitat destruction, and even illegal collection by humans. Their predators include rats, cats, mice, mustelids and a variety of native
and introduced birds.
Article by Stephen Challands. Photos by Helen and Stephen Challands.