A number of lizards are known only from a handful of records. The threat status of these species can't be assessed because so little is understood about them.

Holmer skink (Oligosoma sp. "Holmer Tunnel") – A species known from only one animal. Further surveys in the area has failed to turn up any new animals.

Westport skink (Oligosoma aff. infrapunctatum "Westport") – A species found transported on a truck and probably far from its original location.  We know so little about this species that it's impossible to do any targeted surveys.

North Otago skink (Oligosoma aff. inconspicuum "north Otago")

Hokitika skink (Oligosoma aff. infrapunctatum ‘Hokitika’) – Originally known only from one museum specimen, and one only other skink was found during detailed surveys for this species.  Unfortunately the site does not seem to have a viable populations. The preferred habitat is unknown.

Cupola gecko (Mokopiriakau "Cupola") – Only one animal found in an alpine area. Detailed surveys over several seasons has failed to find any populations.

Okarito geckos (Mokopiriakau "Okarito") – Known only from a few scattered locations near Okarito. This species could be more widespread. It's likely to be difficult to detect especially if it lives high in forest canopy.

Okuru skink (Oligosoma "Okuru") – Known only from one animal. The habitat in the original location has been destroyed. Several surveys in similar nearby habitats have failed to detect any new populations.


Very little is known about any of these species, so it’s very difficult to predict the threats they're facing.

However, we know that all our lizards are declining because of predation from introduced predators. So we expect mice to be a significant predator, but rats, mustelids, and cats will also be preying upon lizards.

Our work

Doing detailed surveys is the only way to find out more about data deficient species. This tells us more about the habitat requirements, population, range, and threats.

Targeted surveys for some species is possible, and is guided by the limited information we have about them. However we have so little information for other species that it's difficult to know where to do targeted surveys. In these cases we often rely on sightings from the public to guide future surveys.

You can help

Report all lizards sightings to the local DOC office. Any records of lizards are important and help build our understanding of lizard distribution. Significant discoveries are often made by following up observations from locals.

In particular we need records from Buller, Westland, any alpine environment (report an alpine lizard), and forests.

Back to top