Create or restore savannas

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

Study locations

Key messages

  • One study evaluated the effects of creating or restoring savannas on reptile populations. This study was in Australia.


  • Richness/diversity (1 study): One before-and-after study in Australia found that reptile species richness was higher following restoration of savanna-like habitat on a golf course.



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 before-and-after study in 1996–2004 of a golf course with degraded savanna-like habitat of open woodland and grassland in Sydney, Australia (Burgin & Wotherspoon 2009) found that restoration that included leaving unmown buffers around ponds, removing non-native weeds, planting native vegetation and adding woody debris resulted in an increase in reptile species over eight years. Reptiles increased from three to eight species in the first two years and to nine species after five years, then remained stable for the following three years. A total of 37 reptile species were predicted in the area of which eight were present following restoration (in 2004), compared to three prior to restoration (in 1996). The golf course was developed in 1993 and restoration undertaken in 1997–2001. The mowing regime was changed to develop rough grassland and a narrow band of herb vegetation was retained around ponds as a buffer zone; native shrubs and trees were planted; non-native weeds were removed and coarse woody debris was reintroduced onto the woodland floor. Reptile surveys were carried out by visual searches (4 hrs long) and checking 12 artificial shelters once a season in 1996–2004.

    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

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