This is not a lizard!!! 🦎🦎🦎
🇳🇿🇳🇿🇳🇿The tuatara is not just one of New Zealand’s most unique creatures but one of the most biologically unique animals in the world. Branching off from its closest relative around 200 million years ago, a lizard has more in common with a snake then this guy. ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Once thought to be widespread across New Zealand the Tuatara became extinct on the mainland after losing a 1000-year-old battle with the country’s rats over food resources and eggs. The remaining population have survived on isolated islands in the countries north. ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Originally protected in 1895, effective conservation efforts didn’t really get underway until the 2000s lnd have been fairly successful. With an estimated 60-100k remaining, the population is considered stable and there have been recent efforts to reintroduced the reptile to the mainland. ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Continued management of the species is critical though as their slow reproduction rates make them particularly vulnerable to most threats effecting native wildlife the world over. •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
We love learning about new animals and conservation efforts but the tuatara has been particularly fascinating to learn about! They’re such a strange and special animal in more ways than appropriate for an Instagram caption. We encourage anyone visiting New Zealand check them out and learn more! 🇳🇿🇳🇿🇳🇿
#repost this incredible image was taken by @this_is_johnny_sir , an amazing wildlife and landscape photographer . Go check out the original post and give him a like and a follow!
//@Raised.on.Travel @AlexsPointOfView @Mya.Davey @AzusaDavey