Geography

Island refuge

Poised between heaven and earth, an endangered striped gecko—just one of a suite of species with a precarious grasp on life found mainly on Stephens Island—hunts for its next meal. After a century of retrenchment associated with human occupation, wildlife on this windswept refuge is being coaxed back from the brink by Department of Conservation staff. Tenuous as life has been for the island's animal residents, it has also been far from easy for the handful of humans—mainly lighthouse keepers—who have been caretakers of this isolated outpost.

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