Create or restore shrubland

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

Study locations

Key messages

  • One study evaluated the effects of creating or restoring shrubland on reptile populations. This study was in Mexico.


  • Richness/diversity (1 study): One replicated, controlled study in Mexico found that areas of restored shrubland had similar reptile and amphibian species richness compared to areas that were not restored.


  • Abundance (1 study): One replicated, controlled study in Mexico found that areas of restored shrubland had a higher abundance of lizards than areas that were not restored.


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, controlled study in 2009–2010 in three sites of dry scrub within a wider urban setting in Mexico City, Mexico (San-José et al. 2013) found that restoring shrubland by planting native species, removing invasive plants and constructing rock piles resulted in similar species richness, but higher abundance of lizards compared to a site with no management. Results were not statistically tested, and the effect of each intervention cannot be separated. Restored sites had a similar number of species (4 species of reptiles and amphibians) as the site with no management (3 species of reptiles and amphibians). Higher numbers of lizards were observed in the two restored sites compared to the site with no management (overall abundances not provided). In 2005–2006, restored sites (0.5 and 0.3 ha) were cleared of rubbish and exotic woody vegetation (dominated by Eucalyptus camaldulensis); replanted with native vegetation; and rock piles were constructed (2–3 m diameter and 1.2 m high). The site without management (0.3 ha) had no vegetation removal or planting or rock piles. Sites were surveyed eight times each by slow, random walks between May 2009–2010.

    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

What Works 2021 cover

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What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

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