Baited pitfall traps were used to sample Oligosoma maccanni and Oligosoma nigriplantare polychroma at Birdlings Flat, on Kaitorete Spit, Canterbury, New Zealand. The two species of skink showed distinctive patterns of habitat use with O. maccanni being almost entirely confined to dunelands while O. n. polchroma was invariably captured in the shrub-covered terraces behind the dunes. This is in direct contrast to what has been documented for these species in central Otago.
The distribution and abundance of lizards relative to habitat structure were studied at Pukerua Bay, Wellington between December 1982 and March 1988 in order to identify options for management of the habitat of the five species of lizards present. One species, Whitaker's skink (Cyclodina whitakeri), is a threatened species with only one known mainland population. Pitfall traps were set for 23 667 trap-days and yielded 2897 lizard captures. Highest capture rate was for common skinks (Oligosoma nigriplantare polychroma) and lowest rate was for C. whitakeri.
Introduced mammalian predators threaten populations of endemic New Zealand lizards but their effects on lizard populations have not been quantified on the mainland. We trialled the use of artificial cover objects (ACOs) for sampling small terrestrial lizards (the skinks Oligosoma maccanni, O. nigriplantare polychroma and O. inconspicuum, and gecko Hoplodactylus maculatus) in three experimental mammal-management treatments: a mammal-proof fence, two sites in an intensive mammal-removal area, and an experimental control site with no mammal removal.