Skink (Whitakers) Cyclodina whitakeri
Species: C. whitakeri
Binomial name: Cyclodina whitakeri
Synonym: Oligosoma whitakeri
Common name: Whitaker's skink
The Cyclodina whitakeri is a rare endangered species of New Zealand native skink which is now found only on the mainland in a small rocky area at the base of coastal hills at Pukerua Bay, near Wellington. It is also found on two small, predator-free islands off the Coromandel Peninsula – Middle Island in the Mercury Islands group, and Castle Island.
Cyclodina whitakeri lives in coastal forest and scrub. During the day the skinks retreat to warm, moist places such as sea bird burrows and deep boulder banks. They forage on warm, humid nights.
The Department of Conservation and the Friends of Mana Island are running a five year project to catch and breed enough animals from the vulnerable Pukerua Bay colony to establish a sustainable population on nearby predator-free Mana Island.
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