Tuatara breeding success with UV-Transmitting skylight
- Just saw this interesting article in NZ newspaper:
Southland Museum and Art Gallery tuatara curator Lindsay Hazley, of Invercargill, started out 27 years ago with just two of the endangered "living fossils". Now he has a colony of 80.
The museum's tuatara surplus is the result of Mr Hazley overcoming many captive-breeding problems and he is getting 20-30 fertile eggs each year. "With the new acrylic roof I got from Germany that let's all the UV (ultra-violet light) through, I'm getting a 90% survival rate rather than a 90% failure."
I was in touch with Lindsay about 3 years ago and we talked about the UV at that time. He said metabolic bone disorder was a big problem back then. Looks like he's solved it, and more - he's cured the D3 deficiency completely, so they are able to breed freely as well..
I'm guessing he's using UV-Transmitting twin-walled acrylic sheeting called Plexiglas Alltop SDP - last I heard, it's still available in Germany but almost impossible to buy over here.
An excellent, if a little thin, completely transparent UV-T acrylic single sheet is available here in the UK made by Irpen or Quinn Plastics, called Polycril HP. The stockist I know of is QD Plastics (Glasgow) Ltd, http://www.qdplastics.co.uk/ - very helpful indeed and will cut panels to size.
I have now completed an outdoor "greenhouse" pen using this, for my lizards for fine weather. Now, all I need is the fine weather...