Te Hauturu-o-Toi, also known as Little Barrier Island has been successfully breeding a crop of tuatara eggs this breeding season. Department of Conservation (DOC) Rangers have confirmed there are 19 eggs.
The successful outcome follows the island being declared pest-free in 2006 where the number of tuatara living in the wild grew from 8 to 300.
Te Hauturu-o-Toi was New Zealand’s first nature reserve originally established back in 1895.
The island was gifted by Ngāti Manuhiri, therefore enabling DOC to protect the survival of New Zealand’s native species.
The island is home to the only self-sustaining population of hīhī (stitchbirds), tīeke (saddleback), twelve species of geckos and skinks and wetapunga (giant weta).
Since 2012, 9 kākāpō have been released on the island for breeding. The critically endangered bird has a total known population of 126, in the world. In addition to the birdlife, insects and lizards on the island there are 400 native plant species, including 34 that are nationally or regionally threatened.