Hunter Park Kindergarten

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Gecko

One of the children's dads rescued a gecko, the second lizard to have been found by a family in the last few weeks.
sadly the first one a skink never made it to kindergarten but got eaten by the family cat who fished it out of the tank they were keeping it in before it could be returned to the bush or taken to DOC, perhaps it was karma because that's how they'd found it rescuing it from another cat.

The girl who brought this one in wanted to take it home again but we had to let her know they're protected and you can't even pick them up without a permit.
We've set up a temporary terrarium to keep it alive till it can be returned with some baby locusts, flies, slaters, drinking water, moss, bark and leaves, and some honeyed water and have found the number for DOC on their website.
http://www.doc.govt.nz/templates/page.aspx?id=70432
This particular link also has some great ways to make your home garden gecko friendly.



We've researched some facts about geckos, this one is probably a forest gecko, and a great source of information was
http://www.hamiltonzoo.co.nz/page/pageid/2145834603/Forest_Gecko

Did you know they can live to 42 years of age, give birth to live young (usually 2 in autumn or early winter) , are the only lizard to vocalise making a little chirping sound, eat fruit, bugs and nectar (but can be fussy eaters), can change colour slowly, live in trees, and are active at night, and everything eats them.




Lots of people remembered finding and keeping them as children. Adele says she's learnt if they lose their tail it can take a year to grow back, during which time they won't have babies.
http://www.nhc.net.nz/index/lizards-new-zealand/forest-gecko/forest-gecko.htm has some close up photo's of them. They don't blink so have to lick their eyes.
One day we may have to apply for a permit to keep them, but we'll probably have to have previous experience in lizard care and a scientific or breeding purpose to do so. I know our little girl who brought it in wants "a license" so she can keep her much loved new friend.

http://www.reptiles.org.nz/
have information on permits, and also excellent information on care and how to set up a gecko inclousure. They recommend large outdoor, with mesh sides as geckos need sunlight and glass filters the wavelengths they need. Once you get a permit you can obtain animals from established captive breeding programmes but not from the wild.
Their NZ reptiles and photo gallery pages have an excellent photo gallery and distribution map to help figure out what you found when you see a lizard and take it's photo.
I would recommend contacting the society if you decide you would like to keep lizards.

http://www.nzlizardzone.com/meet%20the%20web%20master/meet%20the%20webmaster.html
has one New Zealanders story of how they got to keep lizards, photo's of their permits and the site also features a contact address. They might be worth contacting if you want to keep lizards.
David

1 comment:

Christine said...

Hi Hunter Park children and teachers,
We are very interested in your research about geckos.
We are currently applying for a license to care for geckos. We realise this is an important and privileged opportunity. Our gecko place would be near the back fence to the Herehere stream and also be a place to attract native birds. We will be planting the bank in native plants in conjunction with the Karamu Enhancement Group. We would love to talk with you about our common interest. Do you have skype video?
Christine