Remove burnt trees and branches after wildfire

How is the evidence assessed?

Study locations

Key messages

  • One study evaluated the effects on mammals of removing burnt trees and branches after wildfire. This study was in Spain.



  • Abundance (1 study): A replicated, randomized, controlled study in Spain found that removing burned trees and branches after wildfire did not increase European wild rabbit numbers compared to removing burned trees but leaving branches in place.


About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2006–2008 of a pine-dominated forest in Catalonia, Spain (Rollan & Real 2011) found that removing burned trees and branches after wildfire did not alter European wild rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus numbers compared to removing burned trees but leaving branches in place. There was no significant difference between rabbit pellet numbers in plots with trees and branches removed (1,400–5,100 pellets/plot) and those with trees removed but branches left in place (3,100–7,700 pellets/plot). High intensity wildfire in summer 2003 burned 4,600 ha of forest. Plots (100 × 100 m) were established, 200–6,615 m apart. All plots had burnt trees trunks removed in 2004. In 20 plots, branches were left on the ground. In 10 plots, branches were initially left on the ground, but most were then removed in spring 2006, though some were piled up and left in the plots. Rabbit relative abundance was assessed in June of 2006, 2007 and 2008 by counting latrines in 500 × 2 m transects.

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Littlewood, N.A., Rocha, R., Smith, R.K., Martin, P.A., Lockhart, S.L., Schoonover, R.F., Wilman, E., Bladon, A.J., Sainsbury, K.A., Pimm S. and Sutherland, W.J. (2020) Terrestrial Mammal Conservation: Global Evidence for the Effects of Interventions for terrestrial mammals excluding bats and primates. Synopses of Conservation Evidence Series. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Where has this evidence come from?

List of journals searched by synopsis

All the journals searched for all synopses

Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

Terrestrial Mammal Conservation - Published 2020

Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

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