Published:  

August 2014
This report covers current knowledge, conservation and future research needs of the New Zealand peripatus/ngaokeoke.

This report covers current knowledge, conservation and future research needs of the New Zealand peripatus/ngaokeoke.

Summary

The original aim of this report was to provide information about peripatus in the Caversham Valley, South Dunedin, to further increase awareness of this species. However, the scope was broadened to provide an overview of all peripatus species in New Zealand and to present our current knowledge of these species in a global context.

It is intended that this will provide a useful resource for informing on, advocating for and stimulating interest in the management of peripatus and their habitat, whether on private or public land. It is also hoped that future management plans, not only in Dunedin but also in similar situations elsewhere in New Zealand, may be guided by the issues and concepts highlighted here.

Peripatus. Photo: Dick Veitch.
Peripatus attract much scientific interest, as they are remarkably unchanged from 500 million years ago and a 'missing link' for their similarity to both worms and insects

The report begins by providing an overview of the taxonomy and distribution of peripatus across the globe, but with a particular focus on New Zealand.

The biology and ecology of New Zealand species are then outlined, to improve our understanding of the species' requirements and vulnerability.

In the sections that follow, the main threats to New Zealand species are discussed, followed by the types of conservation initiatives that can be carried out to help protect them.

Finally, areas for further research are highlighted. Additional resources, including useful contacts, websites and publications, and funding sources, are also listed.


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