Story: Threatened species

Tuatara hatchling

Tuatara hatchling

This tuatara, which has just emerged from its egg, is part of a captive rearing programme at Victoria University in Wellington. Captive breeding allows conservationists to build up the populations of threatened species. The animals can then be used to re-populate reserves (often on islands) where mammalian predators have been wiped out. Captive breeding is rarely straightforward, and it has taken decades to work out methods that are reliable for species such as tuatara.

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Victoria University of Wellington
Photograph by Susan Keall

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How to cite this page:

Gerard Hutching and Carl Walrond, 'Threatened species - Case histories', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 5 December 2021)

Story by Gerard Hutching and Carl Walrond, published 24 Sep 2007