Study

A trade-off in conservation: weed management decreases the abundance of common reptile and frog species while restoring an invaded floodplain

  • Published source details Bower D.S., Valentine L.E., Grice A.C., Hodgson L. & Schwarzkopf L. (2014) A trade-off in conservation: weed management decreases the abundance of common reptile and frog species while restoring an invaded floodplain. Biological Conservation, 179, 123-128.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Cease livestock grazing: Wetland

Action Link
Reptile Conservation

Use prescribed burning: Wetland

Action Link
Reptile Conservation

Use prescribed burning in combination with grazing

Action Link
Reptile Conservation

Remove or control non-native/invasive plants

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Cease livestock grazing: Wetland

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2004–2006 in a seasonal wetland in Queensland, Australia (Bower et al. 2014) found that overall reptile and amphibian abundances were similar in ungrazed areas compared to areas that were grazed, burned or grazed and burned (to control invasive para grass Urochloa mutica), but that abundance of one skink species Lampropholis delicata was reduced in areas with grazing and/or burning. Overall reptile and amphibian abundance was similar in ungrazed areas compared to areas that were grazed, burned or grazed and burned (results presented as statistical model outputs). However, abundance of Lampropholis delicata was higher in ungrazed plots with no burning (14 skinks/plot) compared to plots with grazing and/or burning (grazed: 4 skinks/plot; burned: 3 skinks/plot; grazed and burned: 1 skink/plot). Para-grass dominated habitat in a conservation park (3,245 ha) was divided into 12 plots (200 x 300 m each) and each plot was either left unmanaged (no grazing or burning), grazed, burned, or grazed and burned (3 plots/management type). Burning took place in August 2004, September 2005 and November 2006. Cattle Bos indicus grazing took place after burning in September–December 2004, October–December 2005 and November–December 2006. Livestock levels were calculated to consume 50% of the grass biomass present/plot. Reptile and frog communities were sampled four times between 2005–2007 using three pitfall/funnel trap arrays/plot (see original paper for details). Reptiles were individually marked by toe clipping prior to release.

    (Summarised by: Katie Sainsbury)

  2. Use prescribed burning: Wetland

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2004–2006 in a seasonal wetland in Queensland, Australia (Bower et al. 2014) found that overall reptile and amphibian abundances were not affected by burning to remove invasive non-native para grass Urochloa mutica, but that the abundance of one skink species Lampropholis delicata was reduced in burned areas. When burns were carried out to control non-native para grass, overall reptile and amphibian abundance was similar to unburned plots (results presented as statistical model outputs) but abundance of Lampropholis delicata was lower in burned plots (3 skinks/plot) compared to unburned plots (14 skinks/plot). Para-grass dominated habitat in a conservation park (3,245 ha) was divided into plots (200 x 300 m each) that were either burned or unburned (3 plots/management type). Burning took place in August 2004, September 2005 and November 2006. Reptile and frog communities were sampled four times between 2005–2007 using three pitfall/funnel trap arrays/plot (see original paper for details). Reptiles were individually marked by toe clipping prior to release.

    (Summarised by: Katie Sainsbury)

  3. Use prescribed burning in combination with grazing

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2004–2006 in a seasonal wetland in Queensland, Australia (Bower et al. 2014) found that overall reptile and amphibian abundance was not affected by burning, or burning and grazing to remove invasive non-native para grass Urochloa mutica, but that the abundance of one skink species Lampropholis delicata was reduced in burned and grazed and burn only plots. Overall reptile and amphibian abundance was similar in burned and grazed, burned and unmanaged plots (results presented as statistical model outputs). However, abundance of Lampropholis delicata was lower in all managed plots (burned: 3 skinks/plot; grazed: 4 skinks/plot; burned and grazed: 1 skinks/plot) compared to unmanaged plots (14 skinks/plot). Para-grass dominated habitat in a conservation park (3,245 ha) was divided into 12 plots (200 x 300 m each) and each plot was either burned, grazed, burned and grazed, or not managed (3 plots/management type). Burning took place in August 2004, September 2005 and November 2006. Cattle Bos indicus grazing took place after burning in September–December 2004, October–December 2005 and November–December 2006. Stocking levels were calculated to consume 50% of the grass biomass present/plot. Reptile and frog communities were sampled four times between 2005–2007 using three pitfall/funnel trap arrays/plot (see original paper for details). Reptiles were individually marked by toe clipping prior to release.

    (Summarised by: Katie Sainsbury)

  4. Remove or control non-native/invasive plants

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2004–2006 in a seasonal wetland in Queensland, Australia (Bower et al. 2014) found that overall reptile and amphibian abundances were not affected by combinations of burning and grazing to remove invasive non-native para grass Urochloa mutica, but that the abundance of one skink species Lampropholis delicata was reduced. When non-native para grass was controlled, overall reptile and amphibian abundance was similar in grazed, burned, grazed and burned and unmanaged plots (results presented as statistical model outputs) but abundance of Lampropholis delicata was lower in all managed plots (burned: 3 skinks/plot; grazed: 4 skinks/plot; burned and grazed: 1 skink/plot) compared to unmanaged plots (14 skinks/plot). Para grass dominated habitat in a conservation park (3,245 ha) was divided into 12 plots (200 x 300 m each) and each plot was either burned, grazed, burned and grazed, or not managed (3 plots/management type). Burning took place in August 2004, September 2005 and November 2006. Cattle grazing took place after burning in September–December 2004, October–December 2005 and November–December 2006. Stocking levels were calculated to consume 50% of the grass biomass present/plot. Reptile and frog communities were sampled four times between 2005–2007 using three pitfall/funnel trap arrays/plot (see original paper for details). Reptiles were individually marked by toe clipping prior to release.

    (Summarised by: Katie Sainsbury)

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