Recovering the reptile community after the mine-tailing accident of Aznalcóllar (Southwestern Spain)

  • Published source details Márquez-Ferrando R., Pleguezuelos J.M., Santos X., Ontiveros D. & Fernández-Cardenete J.R. (2009) Recovering the reptile community after the mine-tailing accident of Aznalcóllar (Southwestern Spain). Restoration Ecology, 17, 660-667.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Create artificial refuges, hibernacula and aestivation sites

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Create artificial refuges, hibernacula and aestivation sites

    A controlled, before-and-after study in 2000–2006 of a riparian site of Mediterranean shrubs in southwestern Spain (Márquez‐Ferrando et al. 2009) found that restoration sites with refuge logs had higher abundance and species richness of reptiles than sites without logs. After 2–4 years, the site with refuges hosted more reptiles than the site with no refuges (refuges: 4–7 individuals/hour; no refuges: 1–3 individuals/hour) and the number of species seen/hour was also higher (refuges: 1.4–1.7 species/hour; no refuges: 0.8–1.3 species/hour). Overall species richness after 2–4 years was similar for the site with refuges (6 species) and a nearby intact site (7 species), and lower for the site with no refuges (5 species) compared to the intact site. Large scale restoration of a riparian corridor (4,200 ha) began following a mining accident in 1998. In 2002, one 24 ha site was provided with 120 reptile refuges: two logs (1.2 m long) placed side by, distributed evenly across the site. Another site (24 ha) received no logs. An additional site outside the affected corridor was also sampled. Reptile surveys began in 2000, and in 2002–2006, at least three surveys were carried out each year, each lasting 4–5 hours.

    (Summarised by: Maggie Watson)

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