Abstract: This herpetofauna abundance plot data package comprises capture data for a specified duration of trapping nights (usually 3 night session) in the Simpson Desert, Western Queensland between 1990 ans 2018.
Date, site and grid number were identified and recaptures during the same session were removed (i.e. individuals were only counted once). Date, site and grid number were recorded for all captures, and captured animals were also marked by a unique toe clip prior to their release to identify recaptures. The network program uses a core of 12 sites which are sampled every April-May. The trapping survey aims to quantitatively track long-term shifts in biodiversity and ecological processes in relation to key drivers, including unpredictable rainfall and droughts, fire, feral predators and grazing.
A synopsis of related data packages which have been collected as part of the Desert Ecology's full program is provided at https://doi.org/10.25911/5c13171d944fe.
Sampling method: Other elements of the plot network’s full program share the sampling structure and core sites/plot/grid configuration of the study design.
Study extent: The network program uses a core of 12 sites which are spaced at least 15 km apart, each comprising two 1-ha trapping grids, or plots which are spaced between 0.5-2 km apart. Thirty-six traps were arrayed in a grid covering 1 ha; each grid comprised 6 lines of 6 traps spaced 20 m apart.The top line of traps extended along the dune crest where consecutive numbering starts, and finished along the sixth line 100 m distant in the dune valley or ‘swale’. Traps on each grid were opened for 3 nights once per year and checked in the mornings and sometimes afternoons.
There are often changes to the scientific names due to revisions of their taxonomy. These data have chosen to maintain the use of older taxonomies to ensure consistency with previous data in the time series. Please note the following taxonomic revisions (the former name is the name used in these data):
 Diplodactylus ciliaris -> Strophurus ciliaris;
 Diplodactylus elderi -> Strophurus elderi;
 Diplodactylus stenodactylus -> Lucasium stenodactylum;
 Egernia inornata -> Liopholis inornata;
 Lophognathus longirostris -> Gowidon longirostris;
 Neobatrachus centralis -> Neobatrachus sudellae;
 Ramphotyphlops endoterus -> Anilios endoterus;
 Ramphotyphlops nigrescens -> Anilios nigrescens;
 Simoselaps fasciolatus -> Brachyurophis fasciolatus
Project funding: Between 2012 and 2018 this project was part of the Long Term Ecological Research Network (LTERN). This work was supported by the Australian Government’s Terrestrial Ecosystems Research Network (www.tern.org.au) – an Australian research infrastructure facility established under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy and Education Infrastructure Fund–Super Science Initiative through the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education.