Provide supplementary food after fire

How is the evidence assessed?

Study locations

Key messages

  • One study evaluated the effects on mammals of providing supplementary food after fire. This study was in the USA.



  • Survival (1 study): A replicated, randomized, controlled study in the USA found that supplementary feeding did not increase survival of hispid cotton rats following prescribed fire.


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 2005–2009 of woodland in Georgia, USA (Morris et al. 2011) found that supplementary feeding did not increase survival rates of hispid cotton rats Sigmodon hispidus following prescribed fire. Survival rates over a 13-week post-fire period during which supplementary food was offered (0.02–0.04) were similar to those with no supplementary food offered (0.02–0.04). Eight plots (40 ha each) were studied. Four plots (exclosures) were surrounded by electric fencing to deter predator entry. All plots were burned in February of 2005, 2007, and 2009. From June 2007 to August 2009, two exclosures and two non-fenced plots received supplementary feed of rabbit chow. No food was provided at the other four plots. Pairs of grids were live-trapped four times/year from January 2005 to June 2007 and eight times/year from July 2007 to June 2009.

    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

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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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