Effects of past and present livestock grazing on herpetofauna in a landscape-scale experiment

  • Published source details Kay G.M., Mortelliti A., Tulloch A., Barton P., Florance D., Cunningham S.A. & Lindenmayer D.B. (2017) Effects of past and present livestock grazing on herpetofauna in a landscape-scale experiment. Conservation Biology, 31, 446-458.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Modify grazing regime: Forest, open woodland & savanna

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Modify grazing regime: Forest, open woodland & savanna

    A replicated, site comparison study in 2011–2013 of 29 farms in south-eastern Australia (Kay et al. 2017) found that different grazing treatments had varying effects on the colonisation and extinction probabilities of three of six lizard species. Results are reported as statistical model outputs. Two lizard species (Boulenger’s snake-eyed skink Morethia boulengeri and southern rainbow-skink Carlia tetradactyla) were more likely to colonize patches with modified low or high rotational grazing than prolonged high rotational or continuous grazing. The opposite was true for straight-browed ctenotus Ctenotus spaldingi, which was more likely to become extinct in patches with modified high and low rotational grazing. Colonisation and extinction probabilities for three other lizard species (ragged snake-eye skink Cryptoblepharus pannosus, Victoria three-toed earless skink Hemiergis talbingoensis, marbled geckos Christinus marmoratus) were not significantly affected by the grazing treatments. A total of 97 sites were surveyed on 29 farms (2–4 sites/farm with different grazing treatments) within a grazing-dominated landscape. Each site used one of four grazing treatments: modified low rotational grazing (<5 years of long-duration rotational grazing following previous continuous grazing); modified high rotational grazing (<5 years of high intensity short-duration grazing following previous continuous grazing); prolonged high rotational grazing (high-intensity short-duration grazing for >10 years); continuous grazing for >10 years. Grazing was mainly by sheep Ovis aries and cattle Bos taurus. Searches were carried out for reptiles in natural habitat and artificial refuges in two plots (0.4 ha) within each site in September 2011, 2012 and 2013.

    (Summarised by: Anna Berthinussen)

Output references
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