One of three baby jewelled geckos born from two females
taken from Otago Peninsula. Photo by Doc.
It is hoped greater international protection for New
Zealand's native green geckos, including Otago Peninsula's
jewelled gecko, will deter would-be wildlife smugglers from
''pilfering'' the country's wildlife.
It was confirmed yesterday that New Zealand's application to
the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species
conference in Bangkok, Thailand, to increase the listing from
appendix III to II for nine green geckos, had been
The move meant the export of wild geckos from New Zealand for
trade on the overseas market without the proper authority was
illegal. Those trading in green geckos who claimed their
animals had been bred in captivity would have to provide
solid evidence, making it much more difficult to sell poached
Conservation Minister Nick Smith said the increase in
protection meant international authorities would have greater
power to conduct inquiries and investigate illegal
''It will also mean harsher penalties under international law
for people found to be illegally trading in our geckos,'' Dr
Green geckos have been targeted regularly in recent years,
particularly on Otago and Banks Peninsulas, because of the
high value placed on them by collectors fascinated with their
bright colour and striking markings.