Create or restore savannas
Overall effectiveness category Awaiting assessment
Number of studies: 1
Background information and definitions
Through under-grazing or burning suppression, savanna vegetation can revert to denser scrubland. Restoring savanna may benefit reptiles typically associated with the habitat.
See also: Create or restore grassland.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A before-and-after study in 1996–2004 of a golf course with degraded savanna-like habitat of open woodland and grassland in Sydney, Australia (Burgin & Wotherspoon 2009) found that restoration that included leaving unmown buffers around ponds, removing non-native weeds, planting native vegetation and adding woody debris resulted in an increase in reptile species over eight years. Reptiles increased from three to eight species in the first two years and to nine species after five years, then remained stable for the following three years. A total of 37 reptile species were predicted in the area of which eight were present following restoration (in 2004), compared to three prior to restoration (in 1996). The golf course was developed in 1993 and restoration undertaken in 1997–2001. The mowing regime was changed to develop rough grassland and a narrow band of herb vegetation was retained around ponds as a buffer zone; native shrubs and trees were planted; non-native weeds were removed and coarse woody debris was reintroduced onto the woodland floor. Reptile surveys were carried out by visual searches (4 hrs long) and checking 12 artificial shelters once a season in 1996–2004.Study and other actions tested