Australian rainbow/plague skinks in South Island

Discuss natural history subjects not strictly related to birds. Reports of interesting mammal, reptile, and invertebrate sightings are welcome.
Jake
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Australian rainbow/plague skinks in South Island

Postby Jake » Sat Jan 04, 2020 12:47 am

Just found three rainbow skinks plus a clutch of eggs on the outskirts of Blenheim, at Cloudy Bay Business Park. They have been dealt to - I'll post images when I get around to it. I had rung DoC, but their office is closed until after I get back up North (after my holiday) and I rang the Council, but wasn't sure if they would do anything, so went back to the location and nipped their little necks and squashed the eggs. I now understand that an eradication program happened or was started in Blenheim in 2018(?). Sure hope this is the last we hear of them, down here!
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David Riddell
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Re: Australian rainbow/plague skinks in South Island

Postby David Riddell » Sat Jan 04, 2020 8:49 am

I hope so too, but seeing the speed that they've spread through the North Island I suspect it's a forlorn hope. Especially since, looking at Google Maps, I see there's a railway track running right past the Cloudy Bay Business Park. The gravel and rough vegetation along the tracks seems to be ideal habitat for these skinks, plus of course they can easily hitch a ride in rail freight. Apparently they were first reported in the Riverlands area of Blenheim, which is also alongside the railway, so they're probably all along the track in between.
Jake
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Re: Australian rainbow/plague skinks in South Island

Postby Jake » Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:20 pm

Cheers for the info, David

I rang the local DoC office today and reported the situation. Here's some pics of the situation... for public record's sake. The first image was before I realised what I was seeing, the second one was after I returned a few days later
P1000562.JPG
Rainbow skink and nest under irrigation controls cover
P1000562.JPG (630.7 KiB) Viewed 933 times

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Euthanised rainbow skinks, eggs and embryo
P1000665.JPG (468.34 KiB) Viewed 933 times
Hypno
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Re: Australian rainbow/plague skinks in South Island

Postby Hypno » Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:47 pm

Wow those eggs are huge.
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Neil Fitzgerald
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Re: Australian rainbow/plague skinks in South Island

Postby Neil Fitzgerald » Sat Feb 01, 2020 10:29 am

Damn. I didn't know they had made it to SI. Seems unlikely that is all of them. This would be a good observation to put on iNaturalist.nz. There are currently no SI obs there.

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