Conservation Evidence strives to be as useful to conservationists as possible. Please take our survey to help the team improve our resource.

Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Cattle grazing, raptor abundance and small mammal communities in Mediterranean grasslands

Published source details

Torre I., Diaz M., Martínez-Padilla J., Bonal R., Vinuela J. & Fargallo J.A. (2007) Cattle grazing, raptor abundance and small mammal communities in Mediterranean grasslands. Basic and Applied Ecology, 8, 565-575


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

Other biodiversity: Exclude grazers Mediterranean Farmland

A replicated site comparison in 1999–2001 in grasslands in central Spain found more species and individuals of small mammals, and higher plant biomass in plots from which cattle were excluded, compared to grazed plots. Mammals: More individuals and species of small mammals were found in plots from which cattle were excluded, compared to grazed plots (3–6 vs 0 individuals/plot; species data reported as ordination results). Three species of mammal were found: white-toothed shrews Crocidura russula (61.6% of all captures), common voles Microtus arvalis (31.9%), and wood mice Apodemus sylvaticus (6.5%). Abundances of all three species appeared to be higher in ungrazed plots, although this was not tested. Plants: Plant biomass was higher and plants were taller in plots from which cattle were excluded, compared to grazed plots, although plant cover did not differ (reported as principal component analyses) Methods: Six plots to exclude cattle were established in reforestation areas in grasslands grazed at 2–10 animals/ha. These areas were used to move livestock until the 1950s and they were reforested in 1990, but few planted trees survived. Eight live traps were placed in each of 22 trapping plots (11 inside and 11 outside cattle exclosures). Traps were set and vegetation was monitored during autumn 1999 and 2000 and summer 2000 and 2001.