Using artificial rocks to restore nonrenewable shelter sites in human-degraded systems: colonization by fauna

  • Published source details Croak B.M., Pike D.A., Webb J.K. & Shine R. (2010) Using artificial rocks to restore nonrenewable shelter sites in human-degraded systems: colonization by fauna. Restoration Ecology, 18, 428-438.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Create or restore rock outcrops

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Create or restore rock outcrops

    A replicated study in 2007–2008 on two sandstone plateaus in New South Wales, Australia (Croak et al. 2010) found that most artificial rocks were colonized by reptiles within 40 weeks. Artificial rocks started to be colonised by reptiles after six weeks. After 14 weeks, 50% of rocks were used and after 40 weeks, 82% were used. Lizards began using rocks after six weeks and snakes by 28 weeks (six lizard and two snake species were recorded in total). Rock spacing (either placed > 3 m from other rocks, or in pairs separated by < 0.5 m) did not affect colonisation rates (data reported as model outputs). The daily thermal characteristics (maximum, minimum and range of temperatures) of artificial rocks were similar to natural rock (see paper for details). In July–August 2007 artificial rocks (198 fibre-reinforced cement 55 x 39 x 4 cm with crevices constructed on the bottom) were placed at five sites (20 at each of two sites with no natural rock removal in a national park, and 40–72 at three sites with rock removal). Reptiles were surveyed on artificial and natural rocks 14 times in July 2007–May 2008 by turning rocks by hand.

    (Summarised by: Maggie Watson)

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