In 1895, the country of New Zealand awarded the tuatara strict legal protection. It is currently considered a CITES (Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species) Appendix I species. This is the most restricted classification for a species. In order for a zoo to possess this species, very demanding rules must be followed, and the public display of tuataras has only recently been allowed. Access to the islands that the tuatara inhabit is strictly regulated, and for many years no tuataras have been removed from any island for any reason.
US Federal List: endangered
CITES: appendix i
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: lower risk - least concern