This little fellow is from the live display at the Arataki Visitor Centre.
There are about 20 species of Geckos and 30 species of skinks in New Zealand. They are protected and must not be collected from the wild. Even the keeping of live skinks and geckos requires a permit. Recently, there have been two cases of attempts to smuggle live geckos out of the country, one of them resulting in a jail sentence, the other is still pending. What on earth are these people thinking! (Maybe a rhetorical question, when one hears that some European ‘collectors’ are willing to pay up to $12,000 for one of these creatures.)
There are also brown geckos, and until recently I had not seen any gecko, green or brown, in the wild (well, in the Philippines, I did, but not here in NZ). But last Saturday, as I was vacuuming the bedroom, something sprung up from under a rug. I think we were both relieved that it had not gone into the vacuum. So here are a few snaps, and proof that after it had found the door, the little critter (about 18cm total length) enjoyed the sunshine and freedom at the bottom of the deck.