The future of New Zealand lizard research

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Abstract

This book provides the first detailed synthesis of the history, fossil record, taxonomy, biogeography, ecology, diseases, physiology, sampling methods, life history, and reproduction and conservation of the New Zealand lizard fauna. In collating our current knowledge of New Zealand lizards, it has been possible to critically assess the lizard research that has been conducted on New Zealand species. Conservation, the development of sampling and monitoring methods, and the pioneering ecological studies conducted in the 1950s–1970s represent the clear strengths of this research. In contrast, the main areas of deficiency relate to a failure to publish research findings, a narrow focus on conservation-related research, a slow rate of species description, and a limited awareness of the value of natural history collections. To rectify these weaknesses, several priority research directions are outlined. These include (1) comparative osteological studies; (2) taxonomic research; (3) biogeographic studies; (4) detailed investigations of ecology, physiology, reproduction, and life history; (5) research into how lizard populations persist on the main islands in the presence of mammalian predators; (6) quantitative studies examining the value of mainland conservation sanctuaries; and (7) quantification of the impact of the plague skink on the native New Zealand biota.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Zealand Lizards
EditorsDavid G Chapple
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
PublisherSpringer
Pages361-375
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9783319416748
ISBN (Print)9783319416724
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Oct 2016

Keywords

  • Biogeography
  • Conservation
  • Disease
  • Ecology
  • Fossil record
  • Gecko
  • Life history
  • Physiology
  • Reproduction
  • Sampling methods
  • Skink
  • Species discovery
  • Taxonomy

Cite this

Chapple, D. G. (2016). The future of New Zealand lizard research. In D. G. Chapple (Ed.), New Zealand Lizards (pp. 361-375). Switzerland: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-41674-8_14