Reptiles | moko: an overview
The only endemic reptiles in New Zealand are skinks, geckos (both generally referred to as moko in Māori) and the tuatara (which, like native frogs, are not found in braided river environments).
Braided riverbeds provide ideal habitat for lizards such as McCann’s skink | moko, which likes to use dry rocky areas for basking in the sun. The long-toed skink can be found on eroding river terraces. The Southern Alps gecko can be found in riverbeds.
The Department of Conservation is trying to expand its database of all reptiles and amphibians. You can help out by reporting sightings.
- New Zealand Herpetological Society Incorporated
- Lettink (2014) Chapter 4: Reptiles and Amphibians (PDF) in Celebrating Biodiversity in the Hurunui District (links to PDF chapters)
Note: Three of the original seven species of native frogs have become extinct. The remaining four species are found only on islands in the Marlborough Sounds and isolated parts of the North Island; they are not found around braided rivers. If you hear or see a frog around braided rivers, please let DOC know.