Maintain dams or water impoundments
Overall effectiveness category Awaiting assessment
Number of studies: 1
Background information and definitions
Dams or ‘impoundments’ may provide functional habitat for reptiles. Maintaining dam structures, including removing silt may benefit reptiles that depend on impounded water sources.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
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