Habitat suitability for conservation translocation: the importance of considering camouflage in cryptic species

  • Published source details Baling M., Stuart-Fox D., Brunton D.H. & Dale J. (2016) Habitat suitability for conservation translocation: the importance of considering camouflage in cryptic species. Biological Conservation, 203, 298-305.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Translocate adult or juvenile reptiles: Lizards

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Translocate adult or juvenile reptiles: Lizards

    A site comparison study in 2006–2008 on a sand and rock beach on an island in Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand (Baling et al. 2016) found that a translocated population of shore skinks Oligosoma smithi survived at least two years, but that colour pattern variation reduced from four to three pattern types. One–two years after 40 skinks were reintroduced, 29 shore skinks were captured. Four colour pattern types were present in the donor population and the originally translocated skinks, but after 1–2 years, only three colour types were present in the translocated population (see original paper for details). The authors reported that this may have been due to the darker and more vegetated habitats prevalent in the destination location. Forty shore skinks (including nine gravid females) were translocated from a coastal sand dune system and reintroduced to a non-native-predator-free island reserve (220 ha) in 2006. Shore skinks were considered extinct on the island prior to this release. Skinks were released on a dark sand beach with rocks and boulders on the east of the beach and low-level vegetation away from the shoreline. In February 2007–March 2008 skinks were monitored every three months at the source and destination location using 2–3 baited pitfall trapping grids for 3–6 trap nights at a time (see original paper for details). Skinks were photographed, assessed against the habitat background and individually marked prior to release.

    (Summarised by: Katie Sainsbury)

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