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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Effects of prescribed burns and livestock grazing on Acacia savanna bird communities, Laikipia District, Kenya

Published source details

Gregory N.C., Sensenig R.L. & Wilcove D.S. (2010) Effects of controlled fire and livestock grazing on bird communities in east African savannas. Conservation Biology, 24, 1606-1616


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Use prescribed burning on savannas Bird Conservation

In Laikipia District, Kenya, a replicated controlled study in 2005-2007 (Gregory et al. 2010) found that five burned plots of savanna had, on average, but not consistently, higher densities of birds and more species than five grazed or four unmanaged control areas (3-17 birds and 3-8 species/100 m2 for burned areas vs. 4-6 birds and 2.5-4.0 species for controls; 5-8 birds and 4-5.5 species for grazed areas). The authors note that there were no differences between treatments in drought years, and that the yearly variation in burned plots was greater than in grazed plots, suggesting that grazing may have longer term benefits. In addition, some species were only recorded in unmanaged areas. The impact of burning appeared to decrease over time.

 

Employ grazing in non-grassland habitats Bird Conservation

In Laikipia District, Kenya, a replicated controlled study in 2005-2007 (Gregory et al. 2010) found that five plots of savanna which were recently abandoned after grazing had, on average, but not consistently, higher densities of birds and held more species than four unmanaged control areas, but fewer than five burned areas (5-8 birds and 4-6 species/100 m2 for grazed areas vs. 3-17 birds and 3-8 species for burned areas; 4-6 birds and 3-4 species for controls;). The authors note that drought removed differences between treatments, and that the yearly variations in burned plots was greater than in grazed plots, suggesting that grazing may have longer term benefits. In addition, some species were only recorded in unmanaged areas. Burning is further discussed in ‘Use prescribed burning’.