This presentation reports on progress from an on-going, national research programme, People, Cities and Nature, aimed at investigating how ecological restoration can best be undertaken in the context of New Zealand cities. In particular, it will focus on one aspect of the programme: research into an often-overlooked group of urban-dwelling species, ngā mokomoko (native skinks and geckos). Combining intensive ecological surveys, citizen science and environmental psychology, this research aims to understand where lizards are surviving in cities, what can be done to support populations and how lizard restoration might be used as a tool to engage urbanites in conservation.

People, cities and nature seminar series

Cities are important landscapes for conservation. On one hand they threaten endemic wildlife through habitat loss, high rates of disturbance and high densities of pest species. On the other hand, they offer huge potential in that they possess in high numbers one of the most powerful resources available to conservation... people.

The relationship between people and nature in cities is increasingly being viewed as critical for conservation, as people with stronger relationships with nature are more likely to consider the effect of their behaviours on the environment. One way to foster this relationship is to enrich urban spaces with endemic wildlife and provide opportunities for urbanites to engage with nature where they live.

Venue: ZEALANDIA Ecosanctuary, Kaori, Wellington

Cost: Free

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Related content

We have a large collection of resources on reptiles – start with this introductory article to see the range of articles, activities and media we have or check out our reptiles and amphibians topic. If you only want to know about our native lizards, go here.


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