La prairie permanente non pâturée : un habitat souvent délaissé pour la conservation des Squamates du bocage

Gaëtan GUILLER & Jean-Pierre VACHER

fr Naturae 2022 (10) - Pages 193-203

Published on 22 June 2022

Permanent ungrazed meadow: an often ignored habitat for the conservation of hedgerow habitat Squamate reptiles.

Best habitat management practices for the conservation of terrestrial Squamate reptiles mainly focus on edge habitats, and often neglect open habitats such as meadows. Monitoring of a community of Squamate reptiles during a whole year took place within the Loire-Atlantique department through direct visual observation and by searching under a network of coverboards positioned on the edges and centre of an ungrazed permanent meadow. The analysis of data showed that there are discrepancies in the exploration of ungrazed meadow according to species, mode of thermoregulation, time of year, and age of individuals. Lacertids tend to stay in the vicinity of the hedges, while snakes and slow worm display a more exploratory behaviour and are found away from the hedges as time of year advances. The study also showed that species richness decreases distance from the hedges increases. Through these results, this study highlights the importance of ungrazed meadows for the conservation of Squamate reptiles in extensive agricultural landscapes.

Lizards, snakes, conservation planning, hedgerow habitat, protected species.
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