Effect of fire history and vegetation structure on herpetofauna in a South African grassland

  • Published source details Masterson G.P.R., Maritz B., Herpetology G.J.A.A. & undefined . (2008) Effect of fire history and vegetation structure on herpetofauna in a South African grassland. Applied Herpetology, 5, 129-143.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use prescribed burning: Grassland & shrubland

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Use prescribed burning: Grassland & shrubland

    A replicated, site comparison study in 2004 in an area of grassland in Gauteng, South Africa (Masterson et al. 2008) found that reptile species richness was similar in areas that were last burned one, two or three years ago, and was also not affected by burn frequency over the previous 30 years. Neither time since last burn or frequency of burning over the past 30 years affected reptile species richness (data reported as statistical model result). In March–April 2004, reptiles were surveyed in nine sites that had last been burned one year ago (4 areas), two years ago (3 areas) or three years ago (2 areas). Burn frequency in the preceding 30 years of the sites varied from burning every 1–5 years. A total of 10 groups of traps (4 drift fences, 8 funnel and 8 pitfall traps) were established across the nine sites (1–2 groups/block). Traps were checked twice/day and all reptiles were identified to species level.

    (Summarised by: William Morgan)

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