Trent says the project team will also experimentally create vertical ecosystems to see if lizards will colonise them over time, which is a new concept.
“A lot of lizards can live on creviced cliffs away from predatory mammals, such as rats. We’re looking at how we can emulate this habitat type, as it may be used across slope work commonly undertaken around the country.”
The lizard’s new neighbourhood has already been cleared of lots of pests by Predator-Free Wellington, Predator-Free Miramar, and Te Motu Kairangi, which has also been planting trees, shrubs, and other native plants in the area.
‘We’re grateful to them for having committed to making the peninsula pest-free and focussing on its ecological health. It means we have somewhere relatively safe for the lizards to go. We are building on this mahi by adding further pest control efforts around the lizard release sites, which will operate for five years,” Trent says.