Adding burrows to enhance a population of the endangered pygmy blue tongue lizard, Tiliqua adelaidensis

  • Published source details Souter N. J., Bull M. & Hutchinson M. N. (2004) Adding burrows to enhance a population of the endangered pygmy blue tongue lizard, Tiliqua adelaidensis. Biological Conservation, 116, 403-408.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Create artificial burrows

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Create artificial burrows

    A controlled, before-and-after study in 2000–2002 in grassland in South Australia, Australia (Souter et al. 2004) found that the addition of artificial burrows resulted in an increase in the number of pygmy blue tongue lizards Tiliqua adelaidensis. The average number of lizards in plots with artificial burrows increased following installation of burrows (before:  1 lizard/plot; 4 months after: 4 lizards/plot; 7 months after: 7 lizards/plot), while numbers on the plots without artificial burrows remained stable through the three surveys (1.4; 1.4 and 1.5 lizards/plot). In April 2002 (after new juveniles have left birth burrow), plots with artificial burrows had more juveniles (3.5 juveniles/plot) than those with natural burrows only (0.9 juveniles/plot). The average number of lizards in natural burrows did not change significantly with year or treatment (0.8–1.5 lizards/plot). The experiment was conducted in a 300 x 140 m area adjacent to a 1 h monitoring area. Twenty-four 20 x 20 m plots were established with an average of 3–5 natural burrows of 12 cm or deeper. After an initial survey in August 2001, eighteen small (13 mm diameter, 30 cm deep) and 18 large (17 mm diameter, 30 cm deep) artificial burrows were added to 12 experimental plots. Burrows were monitored using an optical fiber scope. 

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