Reptile species up again
ARSONISTS in Perth are not only putting lives and homes at risk but also the city’s diverse reptile population, according to new Edith Cowan University (ECU) research.
The metropolitan area is home to 65 species of reptiles – believed to be more diverse than any other capital city in the world.
The research, published in the journal PLOS ONE, investigated how reptiles in Kings Park responded to the bushfire that swept through 40ha of the park in January 2009.
For the past five years, ECU biologist Rob Davis and his team have been trapping, weighing and measuring the park’s scaly citizens to determine just how they responded to the fire.
Unsurprisingly, they found areas where the park had been burnt were home to fewer species of reptiles.
Dr Davis said the good news was that most of the reptile species had recovered to preburn levels within three years.