Strath Taieri School

The critically endangered Giant Otago Skink is both Strath Taieri School’s mascot and school symbol which is why they are passionate about protecting it and developing a safe, natural habitat for them.

With a vision to save the critically endangered Giant Otago Skink, Strath Taieri School is embarking on a student-led project to restore the local skink habitat.

Ruud “The Bugman” Kleinpaste and Dr Riley Elliott, Shark Scientist visited the school to talk to students and teachers about why these elusive creatures are a key part of our ecosystem and the importance of protecting them.

Ruud and Riley also joined the students and local community at the habitat to spot some skinks and to assist with the restoration project. Strath Taieri School Principal, Jim McArthur, says the project has been the catalyst for some much-needed community connection.

“TREEmendous has already had a huge impact on our school and community and when people not involved or connected with the school talk to me about the work we are doing, TREEmendous is often the first topic of conversation.

“Seeing the big group of parents walking with us up to the skink habitat made me feel like we had done something very cool.”