Between November 2022 and February 2023, Natural History interns Tobia Dale and Ben Carson assisted with the curation of three major donations of New Zealand frogs and lizards. Following their first blog on processing pickled pepeketua (native frogs), this second blog describes their processing of a large collection of native lizards from the 1980s, and an opportunity to see several of these species in the wild on Mana Island.
Mana Island, near Wellington, is one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s conservation success stories. Farmed for more than 150 years, the island is now covered with forest that is overflowing with an abundance of endemic birds, lizards and insects. Using pairs of images taken 50 years apart, natural history curator Dr Colin Miskelly describes how and why the island was transformed from a farm to a thriving sanctuary.
Tony Whitaker (or ‘Whit’ to his many friends) was the godfather of modern herpetology in New Zealand. Following more than half a century of fieldwork to the remotest corners of New Zealand, there were few lizard species that he had not seen, nor lizard researchers that he had not cheerfully