Tuatara were released on Wakaterepapanui Island, Marlborough Sounds, in 2004, to establish a wild population. These individuals were taken as eggs from nearby Stephens Island (Takapourewa), and incubated and hatched at Victoria University as part of a research programme. One interesting research finding is that incubation temperatures influence the sex of hatchlings – cool temperatures produce more females, warmer temperatures more males. They were set free on the island at four to five years old, as part of the island’s ecological restoration after rats were eradicated.
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Victoria University of Wellington
Photograph by Charles Daugherty
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