Whitaker's skink facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsWhitaker's skink
Whitaker's skink (Oligosoma whitakeri), also known commonly as Whitaker's New Zealand skink, is an endangered species of skink, a lizard in the family Scincidae. The species is found only in New Zealand.
Habitat and behaviour
Whitaker's skink lives in coastal forest and scrub. During the day it retreats to warm, moist places such as seabird burrows and deep boulder banks, and emerges on warm humid nights to forage.
O. whitakeri is found on two small, predator-free islands off the Coromandel Peninsula – Middle Island in the Mercury Islands group, and Castle Island. There is also a mainland population in a small rocky area at the base of coastal hills at Pukerua Bay, near Wellington. Fossil bones found in the Waikato region suggest that these skinks were once more widely distributed. The New Zealand Department of Conservation and the Friends of Mana Island are running a five-year project to catch and breed enough animals from the vulnerable Pukerua Bay colony to establish a sustainable population on nearby predator-free Mana Island.
As of 2012 the Department of Conservation (DOC) classified Whitaker's skink as Nationally Endangered under the New Zealand Threat Classification System.
Whitaker's skink Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.