Amphibian and reptile colonisation of reclaimed coal spoil grasslands

  • Published source details Terrell V.C.K., Klemish J.L., Engbrecht N.J., May J.A., Lannoo P.J., Stiles R.M. & Lannoo M.J. (2014) Amphibian and reptile colonisation of reclaimed coal spoil grasslands. Journal of North American Herpetology, 2014, 59-68.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Restore former mining or energy production sites

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Restore former mining or energy production sites

    A replicated study in 2009–2010 in two ephemeral ponds in Indiana, USA (Terrell et al. 2014, same experimental set-up as Lannoo et al. 2009) found that snakes and turtles colonized a restored former open cast coal mine within 30 years. Following reseeding and restoration of a former open cast coal mine, four turtle species (10–198 individuals/species) and seven snake species (1–16 individuals/species) colonised two ephemeral ponds within 30 years. Between 1976 and 1982, the study site (729 ha) was a 30 m deep, open pit strip mine. Following mine closure, in 1982 the area was contoured and seeded to herbaceous cover vegetation initially and then in 1988 re-seeded to prairie grass species. As a result of mining activities, the area contained several waterbodies, including two ephemeral pond and wetland areas (0.14–0.33 ha). These wetlands were surveyed in March–October 2009 and March–August 2010 using drift fences and pitfall traps around the ponds (270–280 m of fencing/pond and 26–27 pitfall traps/pond).

    (Summarised by: Katie Sainsbury)

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