Impact of weeds on reptile and amphibian communities


My research began with a collaborative project between James Cook University, CSIRO and Queensland Parks and Wildlife. We looked at the impact of managing an invasive pasture weed called Para grass by burning and cattle grazing, on reptile and amphibian communities. We found the weed dominated wetland had a few species that were very abundant. The abundance of a small lizard (Lampropholis delicata) and a ground frog (Limnodynastes convexiusculus) were positively correlated with the biomass of vegetation and declined when it was reduced by fire and grazing but the richness of the community remained unaffected by management. We suggest that trade-offs need to be considered for all fauna during land management intervention because the benefit to other species such as water birds, provided by restoring the wetland, is likely to outweigh the loss to these two common species.

Eleanor Collins Group Photo in Town CommonPhotograph by Eleanor Collins.