Otago skinks are omnivorous, diurnal, and do not hibernate. Their distinctive markings provide great camouflage. Unique to the Otago region they are classified as nationally critically endangered.
We have a breeding pair of Otago Skinks, but at the moment they’re separated. DOC has implemented a conservation management plan, which includes zoos, to protect the species and maintain a reserve of genetic diversity.
Otago skinks like to bask in the morning and late afternoon sun during summer, hiding away during the hotter parts of the day and at dusk. Skinks require warmth to become active; the rocks are an essential part of the enclosure for the skinks to bask on.
Introduced predators; feral cats, stoats, weasels, ferrets and even hedgehogs, are the greatest threat to lizards. You can help by making lizard-friendly gardens and by neutering your cats.
Also known as giant skinks, Otago skinks are New Zealand’s rarest and largest lizard species, growing up to 30cm.