Study

How effective are agri-environment schemes for protecting and improving herpetofaunal diversity in Australian endangered woodland ecosystems?

  • Published source details Michael D.R., Wood J.T., Crane M., Montague-Drake R. & Lindenmayer D.B. (2014) How effective are agri-environment schemes for protecting and improving herpetofaunal diversity in Australian endangered woodland ecosystems?. Journal of Applied Ecology, 51, 494-504.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Pay farmers to cover the costs of conservation measures

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Pay farmers to cover the costs of conservation measures

    A replicated, site comparison in 2007–2010 in farmed temperate woodlands in New South Wales, Australia (Michael et al. 2014) found that agri-environment schemes did not increase reptile species richness or abundance after one–three or six–eight years of conservation management compared to areas managed purely for livestock production and areas of unmanaged woodland. Overall reptile species richness and abundance was similar in sites with one–three years of agri-environment scheme management (2–3 species/site, 11–19 individuals/site) and six–eight years of agri-environment scheme management (2–4, 13–23). Sites with agri-environment schemes were also similar compared to sites managed purely for livestock production (3–4, 12–20) and sites of unmanaged woodland (2–3, 18–29). See paper for details of individual species abundances. In 2007, one hundred and five >2 ha woodland sites (of four different vegetation types) on 53 farms were established, which had been managed in one of four ways: short-term agri-environment schemes (removing or reducing livestock grazing, revegetation and control of introduced plants and animals since 2007; 16 sites); long-term agri-environment schemes (managed for biodiversity outcomes since before 2003; 32 sites); managed purely for livestock production (grazed with higher stocking densities and occasional fertilizer application; 40 sites), or unmanaged woodland (woodlands established 150 years prior, vegetation not cleared and rarely grazed, 17 sites). During October 2008, August 2009 and August 2010, reptiles were monitored in each site using 30-minute active searches under artificial refuges (four 1.2 m railway sleepers, four roof tiles and 1 m2 pile of corrugated steel) along one 200 x 50 m transect/site.

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