Plant native species

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

Study locations

Key messages

  • Two studies evaluated the effects of planting native species on reptile populations. Both studies were in the USA.



  • Occupancy/range (1 study): One before-and-after study in the USA found that an area reseeded and replanted with native vegetation was colonized and abandoned at different times by two snake and one lizard species, and one other lizard species may have remained, but in low numbers.


  • Use (1 study): One replicated, site comparison study in the USA found that grasslands reseeded with both native and non-native grasses were used by Texas horned lizards.

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, site comparison study in 2001 in grassland in Texas, USA (McIntyre 2003) found that Texas horned lizards Phrynosoma cornutum were present in reseeded native and non-native grassland. Texas horned lizards were observed in one reseeded native grassland plot planted without buffalo grass Buchloe dactyloides (one lizard), in one reseeded native grassland plot planted with buffalo grass (one lizard) and two reseeded non-native grassland plots (one lizard/plot). In July 2001, Texas horned lizards were opportunistically surveyed in 1 km2 plots reseeded with either a native species mix excluding buffalo grass (4 plots), a native species mix including buffalo grass (4 plots), or non-native grasses (weeping lovegrass Eragrostis curvula or Old World bluestem Bothriochloa ischaemum, 7 non-native grass plots), as well as a single plot of unseeded unploughed native grass (16 total plots). Reseeded plots were part of the US Conservation Reserve Program to restore prairie.

    Study and other actions tested
  2. A before-and-after study in 1999–2003 of former agricultural land in California, USA (Uptain et al. 2005) found that upland habitat restored by seeding and transplanting native plant species was colonized by California king snakes Lampropeltis getulus californiae, western fence lizards Sceloporus occidentalis and gopher snakes Pituophis catenifer. California king snakes and western fence lizards were observed from two years after restoration took place (in 2001–2003). Gopher snakes were recorded in the year after restoration took place only. Western whiptail lizards Cnemidophorus tigris were recorded before restoration, but not afterwards, although the authors report that they are likely to have persisted in low numbers. In 1999, native plants were introduced to 20 plots (4 ha) in randomized blocks by either seeding or transplanting, with or without surface contouring. Visual encounter surveys (circular plots and transects) and artificial coverboard surveys (4/plot) were undertaken once before restoration in 1999 and at least 12 times thereafter in 2000–2003.

    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

All the journals searched for all synopses

Reptile Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Reptile Conservation
Reptile Conservation

Reptile Conservation - Published 2021

Reptile synopsis

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