Maintain dams or water impoundments

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

Study locations

Key messages

  • One study evaluated the effects of maintaining dams or water impoundments on reptile populations. This study was in the USA.




  • Use (1 study): One replicated, before-and-after study in the USA found that after sediment removal, or dam maintenance along with sediment removal, one water impoundment was still used by Sonoran mud turtles and a second was not used.

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, before-and-after study in 1994–2013 of three intermittent water impoundments in Arizona and New Mexico, USA (Stone et al. 2014) found that following silt removal and (in one case) dam repair, Sonoran mud turtles Kinosternon sonoriense still used one restored pond but were not seen at a second. After silt was removed and a dam leakage repaired at one water impoundment, Sonoran mud turtles were caught in similar numbers to before the dam started leaking (no data are provided). At a second water impoundment, no turtles were caught after sediment was removed, although eight turtles had been caught within 0.1 km of the site previously. At a third water impoundment, the pond re-silted within two months of being cleared and no results for Sonoran mud turtles were reported. Sediment (88–190 m3) was mechanically removed from three water impoundments in May 2012. The first impoundment (375 m2 surface area) had dam leakages and drained completely in 2008 and again in 2011 and was repaired in 2009 and 2012. The second impoundment (95 m2 surface area after de-silting) was completely silted and dry from 1994. The third impoundment (300 m2 surface area) was filled with silt and wildfire ash from 2010. Surveys for turtles took place in 1994–2013 (no details are provided).

    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

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