We’ve reached another huge milestone in our captive breeding program for blue-tailed skinks, releasing 139 of them into a ‘soft-release’ site.
The site, an enclosed area of forest in a rehabilitated mine field, was cleared of wolf snakes and rats. It will allow us to see how they fare in a predator-free version of the ‘real world’, and is a significant step toward releasing them into the wild.
The island’s captive breeding program began with 66 individuals in 2010, when we joined forces with Taronga Zoo. And in 2011 some jet-setting lizards took the long flight to Sydney to set up off-island populations at Taronga Zoo providing insurance against any on-island catastrophes.
Recently the number had reached almost 1500!
If the skinks do well in the site more will be build more over the next few years. And once we better understand and have removed their threats we will release them back into the wild where they belong.
Brendan, Christmas Island National Park