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Local Lizards

Skinks and geckos are the only two native lizard families found in Aotearoa New Zealand. All of our 110 lizard species are protected by the Wildlife Act which means you are not allowed to capture or collect them. However, making your own backyard lizard-friendly will help attract these secretive critters so you can get to know them.

New Zealand skink.

Visit a dry river bed at Ō Tū Wharekai, a special wetland area, and get up close to a couple of native lizard species.

Ponder this

Consider the following questions. You could talk about your ideas with your favourite people at home or online.

  1. What is different about the gecko and the skink’s eyes?
  2. Why is it dangerous for a lizard to lose its tail at this time of year (in autumn)?
  3. Are you allowed to keep skinks and geckos?
  4. Have you seen any lizards at your place? I wonder where the best places are to find them.


Create your own lizard-friendly habitat

Download this info-graphic PDF from Predator Free NZ Trust to create a lizard-friendly garden.

Ask an adult to post a picture of your lizard friendly garden or lizard you happened to come across and photograph to Instagram. Use the hashtags #learnztrips, #nzlizard, or email a photo to LEARNZtrips. Tell us about your discoveries and creations. 

We’ll share some of your images on our Instagram space @learnztrips.

Want to know more?

Find out more about the values and importance of wetland habitats and the species that live in them. Consider the threats to our wetland environments and what you can do to help.

Please Note: You’ll need to login to these spaces. The username is golearnz and the password is journey (all lowercase).