nstalling a weta motel on Lake Wanaka's Mou Waho Island are
(from left) Eco Wanaka Adventures co-owners Chris Riley and
Lee Eadie and Department of Conservation ranger Kerie Uren.
Mountain stone wetas are not the only creatures enjoying
purpose-built accommodation on Mou Waho Island, in Lake Wanaka.
Geckos and cave wetas have also been checking in to the
island's five-star weta motels.
Occupancy rates have been high since the island's mountain
stone weta population moved in within a month of the 40 small
wooden motels - designed and built by Mt Aspiring College
students - being installed last year by Eco Wanaka Adventures
and the Department of Conservation (Doc).
Doc ranger Flo Gaud said the wetas now had common (Southern
Alps) geckos and cave wetas for flatmates and the three
species had been cohabiting well. Juvenile wetas and geckos
had been seen in the motels.
''We're thrilled the motels are benefiting three different
species and that the animals are enjoying these safe havens,
which provide protection from predators, such as the island's
resident buff weka,'' Ms Gaud said.
It is the first time Doc has used motels for ground wetas
such as the mountain stone species, which normally lives
under rocks and logs. Doc uses motels in other parts of the
country for tree wetas.