Evaluating the role of fire disturbance in structuring small reptile communities in temperate forests

  • Published source details Hu Y., Urlus J., Gillespie G., Letnic M. & Jessop T.S. (2013) Evaluating the role of fire disturbance in structuring small reptile communities in temperate forests. Biodiversity and Conservation, 22, 1949–1963.


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 replicated, site comparison study in 2008–2011 of 74 temperate woodland sites Victoria, Australia (Hu et al. 2013) found that reptile abundance but not species richness increased with time since fire. Reptile abundance was lower in sites that were burned more recently and higher in sites with a longer time since burning (results reported as model outputs, see paper for details). Species richness was similar in recently burned sites compared to long-term unburned sites. A total of 2,691 reptiles of 14 species (10 lizards and 4 snakes) were captured. In summer 2008–2011, reptiles were surveyed in 74 sites ranging recently burned (0 years since fire) to approximately 80 years post-burn. Fire histories included both prescribed burning and wildfires. Surveys were carried out using drift fences with pitfall traps (14,084 total trap nights). Sites were used for a maximum of two seasons.

    (Summarised by: Maggie Watson, Katie Sainsbury)

Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

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.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 21

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape ProgrammeRed List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Mauritian Wildlife Supporting Conservation Leaders
Sustainability Dashboard National Biodiversity Network Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Bat Conservation InternationalPeople trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust