Lizard rescue at Tamaki Leadership Centre
August 03 2021
NZDF is taking extra care to protect the native fauna that live in the area while constructing a new facility at the Tamaki Leadership Centre (TLC) in Whangaparaoa.
The Tamaki Leadership Centre (TLC) is part of the Shakespear Open Sanctuary. TLC’s restricted access, predator free fence and significantly reduced human disturbance creates a wildlife refuge where native fauna thrive.
A portion of the construction site was identified as a ‘significant ecological area’ in accordance with Auckland Council’s planning overlays. Resource consent conditions required lizard management to be undertaken prior to, and in conjunction with habitat clearance. Native lizards are very vulnerable to construction machinery because unlike birds they cannot quickly flee the area. DEI Environmental Services engaged a specialist herpetologist to conduct a pre-clearance lizard salvage. An additional ecological consultant was engaged to undertake lizard search and rescue activities, such as evening spotlighting and hand-searching during mechanical vegetation clearance and post tree felling. The earthworks contractor employed specialist techniques to support lizard salvage and a silt fence was installed around the construction site to prevent lizards from coming back into the work area.
In total 28 indigenous skinks were caught and relocated within TLC, a safe distance east of the original location. On completion of the construction works the affected area will be revegetated using locally sourced native plants.
NZDF is privileged to have exclusive use of such a beautiful part of Auckland, as Kaitiakitanga/guardian of this land there is a commitment from NZDF to protect all inhabitants. The work undertaken on this project is a good demonstration of this commitment.