This is a list of the exotic amphibians and reptiles in captivity in New Zealand. Native species (not listed below) include four species of frogs, eighty-odd species of skinks and geckoes, and one or two species of tuatara (depending on taxonomy). The species in the list are those which I know are in New Zealand that are held legally. Most are to be seen within zoos and aquariums; some chelonians are kept only in the private sector but would be available to zoos if they sought them out. Last full update: January 2020 AMPHIBIANS These are the only exotic amphibians held legally in New Zealand, either publicly or privately. Other species are probably also held illegally. Cane Toads (Rhinella marinus) were commonly imported from Australia by the universities for their laboratories in the 1980s and 1990s, and were sometimes seen in zoos, but there are none left now. Up until the early 1990s Auckland Zoo had a Hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis) in its aquarium. *Golden Bell Frog (Litoria aurea) Introduced Australian species found wild in the top half of the North Island. Commonly kept in zoos and aquariums. *Southern Bell Frog (Litoria raniformis) Introduced Australian species common all over New Zealand. Commonly kept in zoos and aquariums. *Whistling Frog (Litoria ewingii) Introduced Australian species common in parts of New Zealand. Rarely kept in zoos or aquariums, probably due to it being small and nocturnal, so it makes a poor display. *African Clawed Frog (Xenopus laevis) Originally brought in by University labs in the 1980s or earlier. Has been kept in various zoos and aquariums as well, but currently [January 2020] the only ZAA collection listed as a holder is Brooklands Zoo (with one animal, listed as "delete by attrition"). Not legal to keep privately. *Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) Common in the pet trade in various colour forms. Sometimes seen in zoos and public aquariums. *Japanese Fire-bellied Newt (Cynops pyrrhogaster) *Chinese Fire-bellied Newt (Cynops orientalis) Both these species of newts are in the pet trade in New Zealand, originally descended from smuggled animals. They are only occasionally seen in public collections (currently - January 2020 - the National Aquarium in Napier keeps both species, and Brooklands Zoo keeps the Chinese species). SNAKES No exotic snakes are allowed to be held in New Zealand, even for zoos. The larger zoos (i.e. Wellington and Auckland) have tried in the past to be permitted to hold male individuals of non-venomous species which wouldn't be able to survive in the New Zealand climate, but have been rejected every time. The only "native" snakes in New Zealand, in the sense that the individuals make their own way to the country, are the Sea Snakes which occasionally wash up on our shores half-moribund with cold. These are usually Yellow-bellied Sea Snakes (Pelamis platurus) although Banded Sea Snakes (Laticauda colubrina) also occur from time to time. Sea Snakes which are still alive are taken to Kelly Tarltons in Auckland for care, and they are sometimes displayed to the public until fit enough to be released in the tropical Pacific. LIZARDS There are probably a few more species than listed here kept illegally in private hands. As well as the following species, Auckland Zoo had an Asian Bloodsucker (Calotes versicolor) and Fijian Banded Iguanas (Brachylophus fasciatus) in their collection in the 1990s but these are long gone now (the iguanas lasted until the early 2000s). Wellington Zoo had a Gould's Monitor (Varanus gouldii) up until 2007 when it went to Ti Point where it lived until c.2009 - this was the last survivor of six animals imported in 1983/84. There were also Rhinoceros Iguanas (Cyclura cornuta) in New Zealand in the 1980s, probably at Auckland Zoo (imported from Australia in 1984). The most recent exotic reptile loss in zoos is Veiled Chameleon (Chamaeleo calyptratus): three animals (1.2) came to Wellington Zoo after being seized by Customs in October 2014 at Auckland Airport, and then an additonal two (1.1) which were seized in January 2016. All of these animals have since died and there are none currently in the country, although as they are allowed to be imported by zoos the species may reappear at some point. *Scheltopusik (Ophisaurus (or Pseudopus) apodus) Auckland Zoo imported a pair in 1985 from Chester Zoo (UK) - I think both of these are now dead, although one survived until at least c.2017. In 2013 Wellington Zoo imported five individuals from Artis Zoo (Netherlands) and these have since been bred from. Two animals were sent from Wellington Zoo to Auckland Zoo in 2017 [currently Auckland seems to have only one animal]. Brooklands Zoo also has one individual from Wellington. The species makes a good snake-substitute. Not legal to keep privately. *Jackson's Chameleon (Trioceros (Chamaeleo) jacksonii) Originally at Auckland Zoo, with seven animals imported from Australia in 1996. Stock bred there went to Ti Point, and Wellington Zoo also obtained a pair in January 2003, which bred at least once. The last animals at both Auckland and Wellington died out in 2007, leaving animals only at Ti Point. Wellington Zoo acquired three (1.2) from Ti Point in 2013, but in 2016 sent their last two (1.1) to Auckland Zoo. Currently there is only one animal (a male) left in the country, at Auckland Zoo. Not legal to keep privately. *Eastern Water Dragon (Physignathus lesueurii) Originally mainly seen in zoos. Auckland Zoo and Ti Point, in particular, were breeding them well - the latter collection currently (January 2020) has about sixty animals. Now common in the private sector as well. *Inland (Central) Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps) Common in both zoos and the private sector. *Coastal (Eastern) Bearded Dragon (Pogona barbata) Common in both zoos and the private sector. *Green Iguana (Iguana iguana) Currently at Wellington Zoo, Ti Point, Willowbank, Natureland, and Auckland Zoo. Four were imported by Wellington Zoo in August 2011 from Melbourne Zoo. Two (now just one) were kept at Wellington Zoo and two (since October 2012) are at Ti Point. The latter pair bred in 2015, producing 20 babies. Willowbank has one (originally two) and Natureland has one, from the young bred at Ti Point. Auckland Zoo has five animals: one was seized by Customs in October 2014 at Auckland Airport, and the rest came from Ti Point at the start of 2018. Previously also held at Wellington Zoo and Napier Aquarium in the early 1980s to early 1990s (four animals were imported, all bred at Taronga Zoo in Australia). Ti Point also had animals in the early 2000s which were obtained from a private person; this stock was proven to be smuggled animals, all of which were seized and destroyed. *Lace Monitor (Varanus varius) Of the animals currently in New Zealand, Auckland Zoo imported six (3.3) captive-bred animals from Australia (via the Australian Reptile Park) in October 2015, and later two more were imported (bred at Snakes Down Under). Babies from a 2018 breeding at Auckland were obtained by Wellington Zoo and Ti Point (just two animals at each) - the Ti Point ones are on display, but the Wellington Zoo ones are not. Orana Park also obtained two animals from Auckland Zoo in February 2020. Previously also held at Auckland Zoo (four animals imported in 1971; the last one died in 2002) and at Orana Park (two animals imported in 1988; the last one died c.2005). *Eastern Blue-tongue Skink (Tiliqua scincoides) Very common in zoos and the private sector. *Stump-tailed or Shingleback Skink (Tiliqua (or Trachydosaurus) rugosus) Not many left in New Zealand zoos any more. As of January 2020 the only ZAA zoos still listed as holding them are one at Orana and two at Wellington. May still be some in the private sector as well. *Cunningham's Skink (Egernia cunninghami) Not many left in New Zealand zoos. As of January 2020 the only ZAA collections holding them are Auckland Zoo with ten animals, Hamilton Zoo with four, and Ti Point with four. Still some in the private sector as well. *Rainbow Skink (Leiolopisma delicata) Introduced Australian species common in the wild in the North Island. A permit is needed to keep these privately. *Leopard Gecko (Eublepharis macularius) Originally (four?) individuals were imported by Orana Park in 1988 for their new reptile house. Later they were passed on to Eric Fox of Otorohanga Kiwi House who bred them, and from there they entered the private sector. Now rarely seen in zoos (currently - as of January 2020 - at Brooklands Zoo, Butterfly Creek, and Ti Point). *Madagascar Day Gecko (Phelsuma madagascariensis grandis) Originally five animals imported from Australia in 2000 (I think by Auckland Zoo). There are still not a lot of them around. They are still currently at Wellington Zoo (two females), Ti Point (about twenty animals), and possibly the Parrot Ranch (not open to the public). Also formerly at Hamilton Zoo and the Otago Museum's Butterfly House in Dunedin. Not legal to keep privately. *House Gecko (Gekko monarchus) Possibly still at Ti Point (still signed in Oct 2017: Ti Point Reptile Park species list). *Northern Dtella (Gehyra australis) Formerly at Ti Point (apparently no longer present). CHELONIANS The turtles are found mainly in the private sector and range in abundance from very common to very rare. Apart for the Greek and Hermann's most of the tortoises can be classed as rare to very rare in New Zealand, and (for zoo-held individuals) are mostly housed at Ti Point. There are probably a few more species in New Zealand than listed below but they would be composed of one or two old individuals unless smuggled animals. Turtles could be freely imported from the UK and Japan up until the late 1980s, hence the interesting selection below. There may be other species still around which I am not aware of. *Galapagos Giant Tortoise (Chelonoidis nigra) A male and two females at Auckland Zoo, and one male which alternates between Ti Point and Auckland Zoo. All were bred at Honolulu Zoo (Hawaii) and imported in 1983. They have successfully bred once, with one baby hatching in January 2018. Not legal to keep privately. *Red-footed Tortoise (Chelonoidis carbonaria) Just one left at Ti Point - probably the only one left in the country. *Yellow-footed Tortoise (Chelonoidis denticulata) Just one left at Ti Point - probably the only one left in the country. *Chaco / Pampas Tortoise (Chelonoidis petersi / C. chilensis) Still two at Ti Point - I think these are still kept in private hands as well. [In New Zealand these are called Chaco Tortoises with the scientific name Geochelone chilensis (under the older genus name), but the Chaco Tortoise is petersi and the Pampas Tortoise is chilensis so I'm not actually sure which is the species in New Zealand] *Texas Tortoise (Gopherus berlandieri) At Ti Point (still?). *Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) I don't know the current status of this species in New Zealand. *Indian Star Tortoise (Geochelone elegans) Over forty at Ti Point (having been bred there on several occasions). Also kept at Willowbank (eight animals from Ti Point). Four were imported in 2000 from Australia by Auckland Zoo, but they no longer keep them. *Elongated Tortoise (Indotestudo elongata) A few in private hands. *Greek (Spur-thighed) Tortoise (Testudo graeca) The commonest tortoise in the New Zealand pet trade, but only sometimes seen in zoos. *Hermann's Tortoise (Testudo hermanni) The second-commonest tortoise in the New Zealand pet trade, but only sometimes seen in zoos. *Leopard Tortoise (Stigmochelys pardalis) Two females confiscated at Wellington airport in 1996 were sent to Auckland Zoo, where they were joined in 2002 by a male donated by a lady from Dunedin who had been keeping him as a pet since being given him in northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) in 1958! Ti Point also had at least one leopard tortoise at that time, but Auckland Zoo has bred a lot of babies from their trio and the young ones can now be seen in several other New Zealand zoos including Butterfly Creek, Brooklands Zoo, Hamilton Zoo, and Willowbank. Ti Point has almost twenty animals, which I think are also Auckland-bred. Wellington Zoo also formerly had Auckland-bred animals but they no longer keep them. *Red-eared Terrapin (Trachemys scripta elegans) Very common in the pet trade. There are suggestions in some circles that they should be banned to prevent them becoming established in the wild as a pest. *Cumberland's Terrapin (Trachemys scripta troostii) Still fairly common in the pet trade. *Eastern River Cooter (Pseudemys concinna) Very few left in New Zealand (no imported pet stock ever bred, and the remaining animals are now elderly). Ti Point still has two females. *Florida Cooter (Pseudemys floridana) *Painted Terrapin (Chrysemys picta) *Diamondback Terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin) There may now be none left of the three species above. *Carolina Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina) Pretty common in the pet trade. *Three-toed Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina triunguis) Pretty common in the pet trade. *Florida Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina bauri) *[There may still be some other Terrapene around as well] *Reeves' Turtle (Chinemys reevesii) Common in the pet trade. *Asian Leaf Turtle (Cyclemys dentata) *Striped Leaf Turtle (Cyclemys atripons) *Spiny Turtle (Heosemys spinosa) *Asian Box Turtle (Cuora amboinensis) I'm not sure of the status of the above four species - I have seen them all in the pet trade but I don't know overall numbers. *Chinese Box Turtle (Cuora flavomarginata) The only Chinese Box Turtles I've seen in a public collection are the group of males at Napier's National Aquarium - originally they had five animals but currently [January 2020] they only have two left. I have never seen them in the pet trade in New Zealand. *[Possibly some of the other Cuora species are still around as well] *Murray River Turtle (Emydura macquarii) Fairly common in the pet trade. *Jardine River (Red-bellied) Turtle (Emydura subglobosa) Fairly common in the pet trade. *Eastern Snakeneck (Chelodina longicollis) Very common in the pet trade. *Narrow-breasted Snakeneck (Chelodina oblonga) May still be around in the pet trade. *Broad-shelled Snakeneck (Chelodina expansa) May still be around in the pet trade. *Florida Softshell Turtle (Apalone ferox) Still (?) one male at Ti Point which is the only one left in the country. Ti Point formerly held a pair which had come from the National Aquarium in Napier in 2009 or 2010. *Chinese Softshell Turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis) These used to be commonly seen for sale as babies in the 1980s and 1990s, so in theory they should still be around in private hands. *Snapping Turtle I can't remember if the one(s) in New Zealand were Common or Alligator Snappers. I doubt there are any left now. *Matamata (Chelus fimbriatus) These used to be in New Zealand in private trade, probably none left now. *Marine turtles Kept at Kelly Tarltons and the National Aquarium in Napier. The latter still has one male Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) which came from Fiji in 1979 (two were imported at the time). Kelly Tarltons provides a rescue service for sea turtles which wash up in New Zealand. If possible, after recovery at the facility they are returned to the wild in the tropical Pacific. The most common species received at Kelly Tarltons is the Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas) but they also receive Hawksbills (Eretmochelys imbricata), Loggerheads (Caretta caretta), and Olive Ridleys (Lepidochelys olivacea). CROCODYLIANS Obviously not legal to hold privately in New Zealand. Most public facilities aren't set up to hold large crocodylians so there are not many here. Additional individuals held in the past few decades included a Spectacled Caiman (Caiman crocodilus) at Auckland Zoo into at least the 1980s, an American Alligator at Wellington Zoo up until at least the late 1980s, a Saltwater Crocodile at Napier's National Aquarium until 2010, and a Saltwater Crocodile at the now-closed North Brighton Zoo in Christchurch until 1995. *American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) As of January 2020, there are nine individuals (2.6.1) in the country - at Auckland Zoo (0.2), Ti Point (0.2), Butterfly Creek (2.1.1), and Napier's National Aquarium (0.1). Auckland previously had five animals: a female named Doris, imported from Australia in 1982, and four imported in 2010 from Australia Zoo - their current two are from the 2010 import. Ti Point had a pair, a male originally imported to Auckland Zoo in 1982 (with the female Doris) and a female from Australia Zoo (imported in 2010 together with the four that went to Auckland Zoo). Currently they have just two females - I think the second female came from Auckland Zoo. Butterfly Creek imported five females together as babies from Australia in 2009. Three are still at Butterfly Creek and two were sent to Napier's National Aquarium (which now just has one). *Saltwater Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) Now only at Butterfly Creek, which holds two adult males imported in 2009 from Australian crocodile farms (originally wild-caught in Queensland and the Northern Territory). Butterfly Creek also had six young ones hatched from imported eggs in June 2011 but all six were exported to Ireland in July 2014. Previous individuals of the species in New Zealand were one held at the National Aquarium in Napier - originally imported from a Singapore crocodile farm c.1990 - which died in July 2010; and one held at the North Brighton Zoo in Christchurch - originally imported from Australia in 1954 - which died in 1995 (and the zoo itself closed in 1996).