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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Amphibian and reptile species loss was higher during burn years compared to non-burn years in Kansas, USA

Published source details

Wilgers D.J., Horne E.A., Sandercock B.K. & Volkmann A.W. (2006) Effects of rangeland management on community dynamics of the herpetofauna of the tall grass prairie. Herpetologica, 62, 378-388


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 fire or modifications to burning regime in grassland Amphibian Conservation

A before-and-after study in 1989–2003 of tallgrass prairie in Kansas, USA (Wilgers et al. 2006) found that rates of species loss were significantly higher during burn years compared to non-burn years (0.04 vs 0.00). However, authors considered that strong conclusions could not be reached because of confounding effects of changes in both burning and grazing. From 1989 to 1998, management was traditional season-long stocking (0.6 cattle/ha) with burning in alternate years. From 1999, management changed to intensive-early cattle stocking (1.0 cattle/ha) for three months from late spring combined with annual burning. Amphibians were surveyed in April annually along a 4 km transect.

 

Manage grazing regime Amphibian Conservation

A before-and-after study in 1989–2003 of tallgrass prairie in Kansas, USA (Wilgers et al. 2006) found that there was no significant difference in the decline in amphibian species richness during season-long cattle stocking compared to intensive-early stocking. Although not significant, species richness tended to decline faster during season-long stocking than during intensive-early stocking. Authors considered that strong conclusions could not be reached because of confounding effects of changes in both grazing and burning. From 1989 to 1998, the ranch was managed with traditional season-long stocking (0.6 cattle/ha) with burning in alternate years. From 1999, management changed to intensive-early stocking (1.0 cattle/ha) for three months from late spring combined with annual burning. Amphibians were surveyed in April each year along a 4 km transect.