We’re boosting our support for this tiny, critically endangered Auckland gecko – and we’d like your help!

Previously known as the ‘Muriwai gecko’, Ngāti Whātua o Kaipara have gifted this species the name Korowai gecko (Woodworthia korowai) after the whenua where it is found. It is currently known only from the western coastline from Muriwai to Te Korowai-o-Te-Tonga/ South Kaipara Peninsula, with an isolated population on Oaia Island. 

Our ectotherm team are involved in a research and monitoring programme for the Korowai gecko, with Auckland Council, the Department of Conservation and other wildlife experts, to understand more about its distribution and population size. As of today, just 32 of these geckos have ever been sighted!

Recently, we’ve been experimenting with an additional monitoring device in the shape of ‘CritterPic’ camera units, developed by Critter Solutions Ltd. When a lizard (or any target species) walks onto a central stage, a photo will be sent to our team. So far we’ve sighted many mice, a few possums, the native tátahi skink AND three photos that clearly show the Korowai gecko!

The wonderful residents of Muriwai, and those in surrounding areas, will hopefully have seen our recent fliers and posters – as we’re hoping for your help with gecko sightings. If you think you’ve found one? Don’t touch! Take as many good quality pictures as possible, note their exact location and email us at zoonews@aucklandzoo.co.nz. Subject line – Korowai gecko.

Please share this on Auckland’s west coast community pages and with residents that you know. The more eyes we have on the ground, the more we can discover about this stunning New Zealand species!