Reptiles on Rotoroa

New Zealand has a diverse range of native lizards. Around 100 species have been recorded across the country that haven’t been found anywhere else in the world. To date we have released two types of lizard on the island: shore and moko skinks.


Shore Skinks

As you might have guessed from the name, shore skinks live along shorelines and beaches. They're active during the day and can often be spotted around driftwood and boulders. They grow up to ​14cm in length and vary in colour from pale cream to almost black; most have speckled skin. The shore skinks on Rotoroa Island were transferred from Tawharanui Regional Park, north of Auckland.


Moko Skinks

Moko skinks are chocolate-coloured and can also grow up to 14cm in length. Along their sides is a dark brown stripe which has a cream or white border. These fast-moving skinks are active during the day. They eat small insects, spiders and berries, and if you're lucky you might spot one basking in the sun. Like almost all of our native lizards, moko skinks do not lay eggs; they give birth to live young in litters of two to five babies. Our moko skinks were collected from Tiritiri Matangi for release on Rotoroa Island.


Keep Rotoroa Island Predator Free

Rotoroa Island is free of predators and is committed to remaining predator-free in order to develop a thriving wildlife sanctuary for endangered New Zealand animals.

We need your help to ensure the safety of animals on Rotoroa Island by keeping the island predator-free. So before you visit our wildlife sanctuary, please read our biosecurity information carefully. Ensure you check your bags and chilly bins for ants, insects or other stowaways, and ensure that your shoes and bags are also free of soil and seeds