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domestic cattle (feral)
domestic cattle (feral)
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- Data packageData from: An integrated approach to modeling grazing pressure in pastoral systems: the case of the Logone Floodplain (Cameroon)(2018-03-28) Moritz, MarkThe 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 packageData from: Can one animal represent an entire herd? Modeling pastoral mobility using GPS/GIS technology(2018-04-23) Moritz, MarkGPS 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.