Canopy removal restores habitat quality for an endangered snake in a fire suppressed landscape

  • Published source details Webb J.K., Shine R. & Pringle R.M. (2005) Canopy removal restores habitat quality for an endangered snake in a fire suppressed landscape. Copeia, 894-900.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Manage vegetation by cutting or mowing

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Manage vegetation by cutting or mowing

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2002–2003 of rock outcrops on a sandstone plateau in New South Wales, Australia (Webb et al. 2005) found that after removing overhanging canopy, reptiles used unshaded rocks more often in winter, but not in spring, than shaded rocks. After canopy removal, reptile use of unshaded rocks was similar to shaded rocks in spring (unshaded: 38% of rocks used, shaded: 12%) but higher in winter (unshaded: 88%, shaded: 0%). Two broad-headed snakes Hoplocephalus bungaroides, four Lesueur’s velvet gecko Oedura lesueurii, and one red-throated skink Acritoscincus platynotum were recorded under unshaded rocks and one Lesueur’s velvet gecko under a shaded rock. In May 2002, sixteen rocks in three sites shaded by emerging shrubs and saplings were managed either by increasing canopy openness by 15% (‘unshaded’) or unmanaged (‘shaded’, 8 rocks/management type). Reptiles were sampled in June and August 2003 by searching under rocks and individually marking captured reptiles.

    (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 20

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 Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust