Fire regimes and the demography of the lizard Micrablepharus atticolus (Squamata, Gymnophthalmidae) in a biodiversity hotspot

  • Published source details de Sousa H.C., Soares A., Costa B.M., Pantoja D.L., Caetano G.H., de Queiroz T.A. & Colli G.R. (2015) Fire regimes and the demography of the lizard Micrablepharus atticolus (Squamata, Gymnophthalmidae) in a biodiversity hotspot. South American Journal of Herpetology, 10, 143-156.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use prescribed burning: Forest, open woodland & savanna

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Use prescribed burning: Forest, open woodland & savanna

    A controlled study in 2005–2013 in neotropical savanna in Brasilia, Brazil (de Sousa et al. 2015) found that regular prescribed burning increased adult and juvenile endemic lizard Micrablepharus atticolus survival in the short term, but that more frequent late-dry season burns were detrimental. All results were reported as statistical model outputs, see original paper for details. In months when prescribed burns took place, lizard survival and recruitment rates increased. Lizard survival rates were lowest in the late-season biennially burned plot, but similar in plots burned in early-dry season, mid-dry season, or not prescribed burned. Juvenile survival was lowest in biennially-burned plots and highest in the unburned plot. In November 2005 to March 2013, five plots (10 ha each) in an ecological reserve were sampled for lizards. Plots were prescribed burned in either: early-dry season (June) biennially, mid-dry season (August) biennially, late-dry season (September) biennially, mid-dry season quadrennially, or not prescribed burned (although burned in an unplanned fire in September 2011). Lizards were sampled daily using a drift fence with pitfall traps in each plot (see original paper for details) for six consecutive days/month. Lizards were individually marked by toe clipping, measured, sexed and released (465 individual lizards were caught during the study).

    (Summarised by: Katie Sainsbury)

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