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Moritz, Mark

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Moritz
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Mark
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Now showing 1 - 6 of 6
  • Data package
    Data from: Can one animal represent an entire herd? Modeling pastoral mobility using GPS/GIS technology
    (2018-04-23) Moritz, Mark
    GPS technology allows researchers to examine questions about pastoral mobility at multiple spatiotemporal scales, from daily herd movements to annual transhumance orbits. We examined whether the movements of one animal are representative of the behavior of other animals in the herd, i.e., whether it is possible to track one animal in a herd for studies of pastoralist movements. We examined this question by putting GPS trackers on multiple animals in two different herds. Our study shows that despite the complexities of the interplay between herders’ management and cattle’s social behavior, tracking one animal with GPS is a valid method to study movements and grazing behavior of an entire cattle herd in mobile pastoral systems.
  • Data package
    Data from: Spatial and temporal characteristics of pastoral mobility in the Far North Region, Cameroon: data analysis and modeling
    (2018-01-29) Moritz, Mark
    Modeling the movements of humans and animals is critical to understanding the transmission of infectious diseases in complex social and ecological systems. In this paper, we focus on the movements of pastoralists in the Far North Region of Cameroon, who follow an annual transhumance by moving between rainy and dry season pastures. Describing, summarizing, and modeling the transhumance movements in the region are important steps for understanding the role these movements may play in the transmission of infectious diseases affecting humans and animals. We collected data on this transhumance system for four years using a combination of surveys and GPS mapping. An analysis on the spatial and temporal characteristics of pastoral mobility suggests four transhumance modes, each with its own properties. Modes M1 and M2 represent the type of transhumance movements where pastoralists settle in a campsite for a relatively long period of time (≥20 days) and then move around the area without specific directions within a seasonal grazing area. Modes M3 and M4 on the other hand are the situations when pastoralists stay in a campsite for a relatively short period of time (<20 days) when moving between seasonal grazing areas. These four modes are used to develop a spatial-temporal mobility (STM) model that can be used to estimate the probability of a mobile pastoralist residing at a location at any time. We compare the STM model with two reference models and the experiments suggest that the STM model can effectively capture and predict the space-time dynamics of pastoral mobility in our study area.
  • Data package
    Data from: An integrated approach to modeling grazing pressure in pastoral systems: the case of the Logone Floodplain (Cameroon)
    (2018-03-28) Moritz, Mark
    The discussion about the impact of pastoral systems on ecosystems has been profoundly shaped by Hardin’s “tragedy of the commons” argument that held pastoralists responsible for overgrazing the range. Recent studies have shown that grazing ecosystems are much more complex and dynamic than was previously assumed and that pastoralists adaptively manage these systems. However, we still have little understanding how everyday herding affects ecosystems at the landscape level. We conducted a study of daily herd movements and grazing strategies in a mobile pastoral system in the Logone floodplain, Cameroon. We integrated GPS/GIS technology, video recordings of animal behavior, and ethnographic methods to develop a more accurate measurement of grazing pressure that takes into account both livestock densities and grazing behavior. We used the resulting grazing pressure data to evaluate existing conceptual models of grazing pressure at a landscape level. We found that models that predict that grazing pressure is skewed towards the direction of water most accurately reflect the situation in the Logone floodplain in the dry season. However, we found that the higher grazing pressure is not only the result of a higher density of cattle but also a change in the grazing behavior of animals after watering. Finally, we caution that the models of grazing pressure in the dry season cannot simply be extrapolated to the landscape level because mobile pastoralists do not remain in one central place.
  • Data package
    Data from: Ideal Free Distributions of mobile pastoralists within multiple seasonal grazing areas
    (2019-12-17) Moritz, Mark
    The pastoral system in the Far North Region of Cameroon is best described as an open system in which mobile pastoralists have open access to common-pool grazing resources. We hypothesized that there is a self-organizing management system of open access to common-pool grazing resources and predicted that we would find an Ideal Free Distribution (IFD) of mobile pastoralists within seasonal grazing areas. In this paper we used mobility data and remote sensing data from two seasonal grazing areas at the end of the dry season in three consecutive years to evaluate that hypothesis. We found evidence of an IFD in the two seasonal grazing areas of the Logone Floodplain and the Lake Maga area. These findings offer further support for our hypothesis that there is a complex adaptive system in which pastoralists distribute themselves effectively over available grazing resources.
  • Data package
    Data from: Pastoralist refugee crisis tests the resilience of open property regime in the Logone Floodplain, Cameroon
    (2019-09-18) Moritz, Mark
    Previous studies have shown that the open property regime of mobile pastoralists in the Logone Floodplain, Cameroon works as a complex adaptive system in which individual movement decisions result in an ideal free distribution of grazing pressure over common-pool grazing resources. Recently, the humanitarian crisis in the Chad Basin caused by Boko Haram has resulted in the arrival of thousands of pastoralist refugees from Northeastern Nigeria in the Far North Region of Cameroon. In this paper, we examine the impact of pastoralist refugees on the resilience of the open property regime. First, we describe the migratory flight of pastoralists. Second, we examine whether and how the pastoralist refugee crisis affected the open property regime, in particular the distribution of pastoralists over grazing resources. Data were collected in a longitudinal and inter- disciplinary study that integrated spatial and ethnographic approaches to describe and explain the distribution of pastoralists in the Logone Floodplain from 2008 to 2016. The results show that the number of pastoralist refugees from Nigeria exceeds 1000 households with an estimated 100,000 cattle. However, despite the large number of pastoralist refugees, we continue to find evidence of an ideal free distribution of pastoralists over grazing resources in the Logone Floodplain. Moreover, we found that pastoralists, while frustrated by the increasing grazing pressure, remained committed to the ethos of open access. The study offers evidence of the resilience of the open property regime and we discuss the reasons for the resilience of this complex adaptive system using the concept of panarchy.
  • Data package
    Data from: Simulating the transmission of foot-and-mouth disease among mobile herds in the Far North Region, Cameroon
    (2018-01-17) Moritz, Mark
    NOTE: An updated and larger version of this dataset is available. See doi:10.5441/001/1.pk5ps1r3. Animal and human movements can impact the transmission of infectious diseases. Modeling such impacts presents a significant challenge to disease transmission models because these models often assume a fully mixing population where individuals have an equal chance to contact each other. Whereas movements result in populations that can be best represented as a dynamic networks whose structure changes over time as individual movements result in changing distances between individuals within a population. We model the impact of the movements of mobile pastoralists on foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) transmission in a transhumance system in the Far North Region of Cameroon. The pastoralists in our study area move their livestock between rainy and dry season pastures. We first analyzed transhumance data to derive mobility rules that can be used to simulate the movements of the agents in our model. We developed an agent-based model coupled with a susceptible–infected–recovered (SIR) model. Each agent represents a camp of mobile pastoralists with multiple herds and households. The simulation results demonstrated that the herd mobility significantly influenced the dynamics of FMD. When the grazing area is not explicitly considered (by setting the buffer size to 100 km), all the model simulations suggested the same curves as the results using a fully mixing population. Simulations that used grazing areas observed in the field (≤5 km radius) resulted in multiple epidemic peaks in a year, which is similar to the empirical evidence that we obtained by surveying herders from our study area over the last four years.