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Arboreal lizards at an advantage

A paper by CTBCC's Heather Neilly, with Eric Nordberg, Jeremy VanDerWal and Lin Schwarzkopf, shows that in grazed areas, arboreal lizards are at an advantage.
Arboreal lizards at an advantage

(c) Jo Isaac

The researchers conducted reptile surveys in four different areas over 19 years.

They found that while ground dwelling lizards were negatively impacted by grazing, arboreal (tree climbing) species were resistant to impacts of grazing.

We conducted arboreal and terrestrial reptile surveys on four different grazing treatments, at a 19-year experimental grazing trial in northern Australia. To compare the grazing response of arboreal and terrestrial reptile assemblages, we used community, functional group and individual species-level analyses. Species responses were modelled in relation to landscape-scale and microhabitat variables.

The authors maintain that their results have wide implications for rangeland management, particularly if management objectives include goals relating to conserving certain species or functional groups. Arboreal reptiles showed resistance in a landscape that is grazed, but where trees have not been cleared. Trees should therefore be retained in rangelands for both terrestrial and arboreal microhabitats.

Read the article here.

Read the media release here.