Auckland-based ecologist Samantha King has been selected as a finalist for the 2019 New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the Year.
Sam’s subject holds more than photographic interest. She’s conducting work towards a MSc degree to determine differences in patterns, size and genetics between two endangered green gecko species found at the top of the South Island.
Sam says, “I took these photos while carrying out my MSc research. I was studying the variation in genetics and morphology of two species of endangered green gecko (West Coast green and starred gecko), and the tools used to identify the two species. Both these beautiful creatures are classified as Threatened – Nationally Vulnerable, and research is vital for the conservation management of these species. The photos show various stages of the capture and release process I used to obtain information on the geckos.
During the course of Sam’s studies, she found two previously unknown populations of the West Coast green gecko and one new population of the starred gecko. She identified that there are certain traits that define species (mouth and tongue colour).
Her research and knowledge is applied in her role at Boffa Miskell as she carries out work for our clients in surveying and giving advice on these species.
Head over to the NZGeographic site to see Sam’s photos, and those of the other finalists.
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For further information please contact Samantha King
19 September 2019