A guide for anyone wanting to help with jewelled gecko conservation on Otago Peninsula’s is being launched tomorrow (18 February 2011).
The Department of Conservation’s Coastal Otago Area Manager Robin Thomas will release the Jewelled Gecko/ Moko-kākāriki Management Plan at a function at Portobello. The plan encapsulates knowledge from DOC, community groups, local researchers, scientists, residents and landowners to curb population decline of the species. Much of the information in the plan resulted from public feedback at a workshop at Portobello in April last year.
“The plan explains simply the many issues involved in jewelled gecko conservation on the Otago Peninsula and provides guidance to anyone who wants to get involved in this fantastic project,” Mr Thomas said.
“It addresses key issues facing jewelled gecko conservation on the peninsula by providing clear direction with achievable goals, objectives and actions. It emphasises how peninsula residents, landowners, community groups and agencies can work together to achieve those objectives,” he said.
“This is very much a community owned plan. It establishes a new approach where a species management plan has been facilitated by DOC, funded by a private company (Setpoint Solutions) along with Forest and Bird (the Marjorie Barclay Trust), has involved all interested groups in drawing it together, and is then handed back over to the public for implementation.”
“This approach sets a major milestone for species conservation in New Zealand,” Mr Thomas said.
Nearly 60 voluntary actions are suggested in the 30-page plan including how locals can be vigilant to reduce poaching, trapping for pests, controlling weeds in habitat areas, how to expand gecko habitat, monitoring populations, and reporting gecko sightings to DOC.
Jewelled geckos were in the news last year after three foreigners were prosecuted for trying to smuggle geckos from Otago Peninsula.
The plan can be obtained from DOC Community Relations Officer Liz Sherwood.