The results of a survey of the presence and populations of the tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus) and the Polynesian rat or kiore (Rattus exulans) on 35- islands off the New Zealand coast are presented and discussed. Tuataras were found on 23 of these, and on six they occur with kiore. The age distributions and densities of the tuatara populations suggest that decline because of failure of recruitment is occurring on seven—the six kiore -inhabited islands and one other.
Tiritiri Matangi Island is one of the oldest community-driven island restoration projects in New Zealand. While great effort has been directed towards recovery of vegetation and avian communities since the 1980s, restoration of the island’s reptile fauna has not been initiated until early 2000s. Tiritiri Matangi supports only three remnant reptile species, which is considerably low given the island’s size and geographic location. In recognition of this and the importance of reptiles in ecosystem function, translocations of several reptile species have been undertaken.