Modify grazing regime: Wetland

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
    not assessed
  • Certainty
    not assessed
  • Harms
    not assessed

Study locations

Key messages

  • One study evaluated the effects of managing grazing regimes in wetlands on reptile populations. This study was in France.



  • Abundance (1 study): One controlled before-and-after study in France found that moderate density autumn–winter grazing and autumn–spring marsh flooding resulted in higher abundance of European pond turtles than high density spring–summer grazing and winter–spring marsh flooding or low year-round grazing and flooding.
  • Condition (1 study): One controlled before-and-after study in France found that high-density spring–summer grazing resulted in fewer incidences of trampling compared to moderate-density autumn–winter grazing or low-density year-round grazing.


About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. A controlled, before-and-after study in 1997–2013 in two marshes with canals in Camargue, France (Ficheux et al. 2014) found that autumn–winter grazing and autumn–spring flooding increased European pond turtle Emys orbicularis abundance compared to high density spring–summer grazing and winter–spring marsh flooding. European pond turtle abundance was greater with moderate density autumn–winter grazing and autumn–spring marsh flooding (192–436 individuals), compared to high density spring–summer grazing and winter–spring marsh flooding (107–182 individuals) or low year-round grazing and flooding (182–227 individuals). In a nearby site with moderate year-round grazing and flooding, European pond turtle abundance was stable over the same time period (29–153 individuals). Incidences of trampling by grazing animals were higher with moderate-density autumn–winter grazing (10 individuals) or low-density year-round grazing (13 individuals) compared to high-density spring–summer grazing (4 individuals; results were not statistically tested). In 1997–2001, two sites (100–250 ha, 1.5 km apart) were flooded and grazed year-round at low-moderate stocking density. In one site, in 2002–2006, water levels were modified to create a dry period in summer–autumn, with natural flooding in winter–spring and grazing was changed to high density stocking in spring–summer (see original paper for details). In the same site, in 2007–2013, the flooding period was extended so that autumn–spring were flooded and only summer was dry, and moderate density grazing took place in autumn–winter. In April–August 1997–2013, turtles were live-trapped at both sites (7,059 total captures of 963 individuals).

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Sainsbury K.A., Morgan W.H., Watson M., Rotem G., Bouskila A., Smith R.K. & Sutherland W.J. (2021) Reptile Conservation: Global Evidence for the Effects of Interventions for reptiles. Conservation Evidence Series Synopsis. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Where has this evidence come from?

List of journals searched by synopsis

All the journals searched for all synopses

Reptile Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Reptile Conservation
Reptile Conservation

Reptile Conservation - Published 2021

Reptile synopsis

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 21

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 ProgrammeRed List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Mauritian Wildlife Supporting Conservation Leaders
Sustainability Dashboard National Biodiversity Network Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Bat Conservation InternationalPeople trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust