"Geckos are being rehomed on Mana Island." Story from Kapi-Mana News July 2015 and bits added from Wellington Scoop "23 geckos moved to Mana Island from threatened site in Belmont quarry" news from DOC.

Mana Island a gecko haven

Winstone Aggregates transferred 23 ngahere geckos from an area marked for extension at Belmont Quarry to Mana Island on 5 July 2015.

"From initial planning, to escorting the geckos on the boat, many people helped to ensure the geckos were transferred safely to their new home," said Ian Wallace of Winstone Aggregates.

The project to rehome the geckos was a joint project involving EcoGecko Consultants, Taranaki Whanui, Ngati Toa, Friends of Mana Island, Wellington Zoo and the Department of Conservation.

As part of extending Wellington's Belmont Quarry, Winstone Aggregates was granted a Wildlife Authority to collect and transfer as many forest geckos as possible to Mana Island. Winstone Aggregates is also contributing to pest control and replanting in the adjoining Belmont Forest Park, and protecting lizard habitat across 10 ha of their land.

During the transfer, the geckos had a quarantine"holiday" at Wellington Zoo, where they received care from the vets at The Nest Te Kōhanga.

EcoGecko and Friends of Mana Island built a "soft release" fence on the island to provide a temporary enclosure for the geckos to settle in.

Local iwi Taranaki Whanui supported Winstones to gift the geckos into the care of Ngati Toa on Mana Island.

"Mana Island was an ideal place for Winstone to rehome the geckos," said Department of Conservation ranger Jeff Hall.

"It is pest-free and did not have any ngahere geckos. Their introduction has brought the total number of lizard species found here to 11."

The Friends of Mana Island and Ngati Toa, with support from EcoGecko, will undertake post-release monitoring to make sure the translocation is a success.

Ngahere geckos are found in older forest, but may also persist in remnant stands, scrubby vegetation and manuka and kanuka scrubland. They spend the majority of their life in the canopy so are rarely seen.

You might not see Ngahere geckos in your garden, but you can help protect them by planting trees closely so the canopy connects allowing them free movement without the need to go to the ground. Encourage vines and climbers up larger trees, place bark under the climbers or tie bark onto the tree with biodegradable string.

Ngahere geckos will hide in dense foliage in the canopy and these habitats can be mimicked by using hanging baskets in trees. Encouraging epiphytes to grow on trees increases diversity and food for geckos and provides extra cover.



Mana Island Field Camp for teens  – 7-11 April 2015 (click here for more information and application form)

BirdsNZ, supported by DOC, will be running a field camp for 16-18 year olds on Mana Island in the April school holidays 2015.  The purpose of the field camp is to attract younger members and to develop their skills and interest in bird ecology.

This five day residential program will include:

  • bird identification and observation
  • data collection
  • real research on seabirds
  • introduction to mist-netting and banding, etc.

We are aiming at teens in the 16-18 year old range, as there doesn’t seem to be much currently available for this age group.  Hopefully after the field camp, those attending will be motivated to start/support birding projects locally.  Up to ten teens can be accommodated at the camp.  The Field camp will be staffed by BirdsNZ members and DOC staff (some of course, are both!).

One position is reserved for a teen to be nominated by FOMI.  (You can nominate more than one, but we only guarantee one position).

Submit your applications now for a child or grandchild of a current (i.e. paid-up) FOMI Member to the Committee for consideration.

Brian Paget
Friends of Mana Island Inc
PO Box 54101
Mana, Porirua
tel: 04 233 8411
cell: 021 523 444



October 2014 Newsletter

Friends of Mana Island Newsletter 58



News release about Bellbirds/Korimakos on Explore nature page.


Friends of Mana Island newsletter July 2013

Friends of Mana Island May 2013 update

Friends of Mana Island FOMI April 2013 newsletter

Friends of Mana Island newsletter November 2012

Last Updated: 15/07/2015 1:04am