Baby tuatara found on Matiu/Somes island

RARE REPTILE: This tuatara, thought to be only a few months old, was spotted on Matiu/Somes Island.
RARE REPTILE: This tuatara, thought to be only a few months old, was spotted on Matiu/Somes Island.

Baby tuatara are hatching on Matiu/Somes Island.

Conservation Department biodiversity programme manager Brent Tandy said an 8cm-long tuatara was photographed by visitors earlier this month, confirming rangers' suspicions that the rare reptiles were breeding on the island.

The photograph, which showed a tuatara estimated to be a few months old, proved for the first time that tuatara were being born on Maiu/Somes.

Tuatara were transferred to Matiu/Somes Island in 1998, and adults are regularly seen there.

Mr Tandy said it was remarkable that such a small tuatara had been spotted and photographed, given that they were very secretive.

The Dominion Post