How Effective are Agri-environment Schemes for Herpetofauna?

Future incentive schemes should focus on improving habitat connectivity, enhancing pasture condition and increasing woody debris in the agricultural matrix to dissolve dispersal barriers and mitigate the legacy of historical land-use practices. We propose that AES which manage mosaics of intergrading vegetation types at multiple spatial scales will protect maximum herpetofaunal diversity.



There are problems with the approach it seems.

Although habitat management can be beneficial, herpetofaunal diversity may still be restricted by the presence of dispersal barriers. Dispersal barriers are not always as simplistic as the presence of a linear feature such as a road and can be difficult to detect by land managers who are not sufficiently experienced with the ecology of target species. 

Although this particular study was undertaken in Australia, there are lessons here for herpetofauna conservation work in the UK.