Relative use of three types of artificial retreats by terrestrial lizards in grazed coastal shrubland, New Zealand

  • Published source details Lettink M. & Cree A. (2007) Relative use of three types of artificial retreats by terrestrial lizards in grazed coastal shrubland, New Zealand. Applied Herpetology, 4.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Create artificial refuges, hibernacula and aestivation sites

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Create artificial refuges, hibernacula and aestivation sites

    A replicated study in 2003–2004 in two grazed farmland sites near Canterbury, New Zealand (Lettink & Cree 2007) found that artificial refuge design was important for common geckos Hoplodactylus maculatus but not McCann’s skinks Oligosoma maccanni or common skinks Oligosoma nigriplantare polychroma. Common geckos preferred artificial refuges made from Onduline (a corrugated roofing product made of organic fibers: 602 total captures) compared to corrugated iron (109 total captures) or concrete roofing tiles (27 total captures). Similar numbers of McCann’s skinks and common skinks were captured under each artificial refuge material (McCann’s Onduline: 28 total captures vs. iron: 22 vs. concrete: 36; common skink 21 vs. 23 vs. 30). The refuges were triple-layered and common geckos were captured 344 times in the top spaces, 316 times in the middle spaces and 51 times in the bottom spaces. At each site, a 5 x 6 grid of ‘refuge stations’ spaced 5 m apart was installed. Each station consisted of three triple-layered artificial refuges made of different materials: Onduline, iron and concrete roofing tiles. All refuges were checked monthly from December 2003 until November 2004.

    (Summarised by: Guy Rotem, Katie Sainsbury)

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