Shining the spotlight on New Zealand’s reptiles

Skinks, geckos, amphibians and marine snakes are off the radar for most New Zealanders but they’re out there and now they’ve been captured in detail in a new book published this month.

Dylan van Winkel, an ecologist and herpetologist with Babbage company Bioresearches Group, is one of three authors of Reptiles and Amphibians of New Zealand, a guide to a part of New Zealand wildlife most of us know little about.

The book, co-written with wildlife ecologist Marleen Baling and Department of Conservation science adviser Rod Hitchmough, lists all of the country’s known reptiles and amphibians with stunning coloured photos, details about the creatures and their habitats, and maps of where they live.

“There are already some guides to these animals but this is the largest and most comprehensive,” Dylan says.

“We needed a better guide to these creatures and a clearer picture of how they live. We see it as a school and academic resource.”

The book, subtitled “A field guide” was three years in the making and was published on November 8. Dylan says 80 per cent of the photos were taken by him.

The guide lists all 123 known species from six main groups - tuatara, geckos, skinks, frogs, marine turtles and marine snakes - with a significant number of them found only in New Zealand.

And while the guide is comprehensive, Dylan says it is not necessarily a “complete” guide.

“There are still more species to find,” he says.

To purchase a copy of his book, follow this link.

Reptiles and Amphibians of New Zealand: A Field Guide
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