Patch-burn grazing and herpetofauna

This recent study explores the effects of burning and grazing on local reptile and amphibian populations. Danelle Larson, Ph.D., a post-doctoral researcher at Idaho State University, applied fire only, grazing only, and a combination of fire and grazing treatments to an area of land to observe the effect on herpetofauna (local populations of reptiles and amphibians). She also included sections of land that had been burned or grazed in the previous year to see how herpetofauna populations changed. This study was performed on tallgrass prairie, but most of the species of reptiles and amphibians studied are common to ecosystems managed by fire and/or grazing throughout North America. Larson concluded that in order to conserve herpetofauna, both fire and grazing should be used to create a variety of patch types.

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