Out of its shell
Extremely rare footage of a tuatara hatching was captured on film at Victoria in July.
Victorious Spring 2014
Last to hatch, the egg was one of 23 being incubated in captivity this year as part of a joint initiative that has helped to save a threatened population of tuatara from extinction.
Using a low-cost microcomputer and infrared camera, Warren Butcher from Victoria’s Image Services team filmed seven hours of footage and then compressed it into a short video clip.
Since the early 1990s, Victoria University, the Department of Conservation and local Mana Whenua Ngati Manuhiri have run an intensive conservation recovery plan for tuatara on Hauturu ō Toi/Little Barrier Island, partly-funded by the Hauturu Supporters Trust and Auckland Zoo.
Hauturu ō Toi is a nature reserve located 80 kilometres north-east of Auckland, now home to around 300 tuatara, 255 of which have been incubated at Victoria University. The star hatchling will be released there in a few years’ time.
Watch the video of the tuatara hatching.