Prevent access to livestock water feeders

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
    not assessed
  • Certainty
    not assessed
  • Harms
    not assessed

Study locations

Key messages

  • One study evaluated the effects of preventing access to livestock water feeders on reptile populations. This study was in Morocco.



  • Survival (1 study): One replicated, randomized, controlled, before-and-after study in Morocco found that covering water feeder openings with wire mesh resulted in fewer combined reptiles and amphibians being trapped compared to water feeders without mesh covers.


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, before-and-after study in 2014–2016 in three areas of desert shrub and grassland in south-western Morocco (Pleguezuelos et al. 2017) found that adding mesh covers to ground-level livestock water feeders resulted in fewer reptiles and amphibians being trapped. Ground-level water feeders with in and outflow openings covered by wire mesh trapped fewer reptiles and amphibians (17% of feeders; 0.3 individuals trapped/feeder) compared to water feeders without wire mesh covers attached (36% of feeders; 0.8 individuals trapped/feeder). Before mesh covers were attached, numbers of reptiles and amphibian species trapped were similar amongst all feeders located in the same areas (see original paper for details). Rectangular concrete, roofed, ground-level water feeders (‘cisterns’, all <15 years old) designed to capture rainwater for livestock were surveyed in three zones (168–212 km2) in the north-western Sahara Desert (24 feeders/zone). Water inlet and overflow openings were covered with wire mesh on 12 randomly selected feeders/zone. All feeders were surveyed for reptiles and amphibians once before mesh was applied in November 2014 (zones 1 and 2) or October 2015 (zone 3) and again either four times in June 2015–April 2016 (zones 1 and 2) or twice in March–April 2016 (zone 3). All dead and live reptiles and amphibians found inside feeders were recorded.

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Sainsbury K.A., Morgan W.H., Watson M., Rotem G., Bouskila A., Smith R.K. & Sutherland W.J. (2021) Reptile Conservation: Global Evidence for the Effects of Interventions for reptiles. Conservation Evidence Series Synopsis. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Where has this evidence come from?

List of journals searched by synopsis

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Reptile Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Reptile Conservation
Reptile Conservation

Reptile Conservation - Published 2021

Reptile synopsis

What Works 2021 cover

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