Livestock Innovation Lab Archive: Research Briefs

Targeted Informal Education Promotes Improved Well-Being, Innovation, and Climate-Change Adaptation among Residents in Bajura District, Nepal.

Robert Gillies, Utah State UniversityWestern Nepal is enduring significant climate change, resulting in warmer and drier conditions that negatively affect crop and livestock productivity. Here we report findings from a novel, quasi-experimental approach where the residents of two communities were provided with an intervention package and their perceptions of change over a 16-month period were contrasted with those from residents of two paired “control” communities that lacked the interventions. The goal was to assess the impact of interventions in promoting well-being, agricultural innovation, and climate-change adaptation. Research efforts included baseline surveys conducted in December, 2013, as well as endline surveys conducted during May, 2015.

Climate and Land Use Change in Gandaki River Basin and its Impacts to Livestock Herding.

Nir Krakauer, City College New YorkThe temperature record in Nepal has an increasing trend but the precipitation does not have any significant trend. Livestock are an integral part of the mixed farming system and socio-economical life in Nepal. Climate resiliency could be increased by enhancing the livestock sectors, particularly among the smallholder farmers in Nepal. Around 87 percent of the country’s total population keeps some form of livestock at home and the rate is higher in the high mountains and among poor people. The major problems in the livestock sectors in Nepal are malnutrition, disease and infertility.

An Initial Assessment of the Opportunities and Challenges Associated with Expanding Nepal’s Goat Market.

Robert Gillies, Utah State UniversityInfluences leading to the growth in global goat meat consumption, especially in the developing world, include both increases in the world’s goat population and climate change factors such as increasing temperatures and greater variability in monsoonal precipitation. The climate-related factors have resulted in a retraction of high quality grazing lands in critical grazing locations such as Sub-Saharan Africa and Central Asia. With less preferred grazing land available, herders in these locations have shifted to smaller-bodied animals with a greater diversity of feeding habits— goats thus fit this need very well. This allows producers to still raise livestock under new resource limitations.

Adapting Small-Farm Systems to Climate Change: Preliminary Results from Participatory Community Assessments in Bajura District, Nepal.

Robert Gillies, Utah State UniversityWestern Nepal is a remote region that is home to a wide variety of small farm and livestock production systems. Communities here lack direct access to a suitable road infrastructure, and thus are isolated from the modern world. Farm families are often poverty stricken. Western Nepal is also enduring significant climate change, resulting in warmer and drier conditions that affect crop and livestock productivity. Our research team used Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) to convene the members of four small-farm communities in Bajura District, identify their priority problems and analyze how the production systems function. We then connected the prioritized problems to their sources, whether poverty or climate change, and charted a way forward that catalyzes an adaptation process to improve human welfare.

Annual Report Year 1 – Improving Nutrition and Productivity of Buffaloes to Adapt to the Impacts of Climate Change in Nepal.

Nanda Joshi, Michigan State University, Michigan, USAAs the climate changes, farmers in Nepal struggle to find forage for their buffaloes, which account for more than half of the milk and meat production of large ruminants in the country. A Livestock Innovation Lab-funded project is working with 90 farmers to develop strategies and methods to increase forage availability and nutrition and improve buffalo reproduction and productivity.

Climate Change and Other Factors Degrade Nepalese Livestock Systems.

Durga Poudel, School of Geosciences, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Louisiana, USAClimate change, along with other factors, such as deforestation and land-use changes, threaten to degrade the health of mixed-farming systems in Nepal. Innovation Lab researchers developed and organized several trainings for farmers based on problem areas identified by earlier data collection. These trainings, which focused on expanding livestock productivity, formulating nutritional feed and treating animals for disease, provided more than 350 households the skill set and knowledge to sustainably adapt to their changing world.

Enhancing Livestock Production Systems in Tajikistan to Mitigate Potential Impacts of Climate Change.

Nanda Joshi, Michigan State UniversityBecause of political instability, drought and deforestation, livestock feed availability has declined by as much as 60% in Tajikistan over the last 20 years, while more Tajik households have turned to raising livestock as an income source. The result is a serious deficit in feed quality and availability in the country.

Capacity-building and Strengthening of Livestock Production.

Durga Poudel, School of Geosciences, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Louisiana, USAResearchers have begun a detailed study in the Thulokhola watershed (Nuwakot district) of Nepal to increase the resiliency of livestock systems by record-keeping, fodder and feed analysis, and testing fecal samples for parasites. Preliminary analysis indicates that enhancing livestock feed and nutrition, as well as veterinary care, is necessary for adapting and strengthening Nepalese livestock production systems in the face of climate change.

Adapting Livestock Production Systems to Climate Change: Community Capacity-Building for Better Animal Health, Feed, Soil and Water.

Durga Poudel, School of Geosciences, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Louisiana, USAA comprehensive study in the Thulokhola watershed in Nuwakot district, Nepal is being undertaken in order to document a livestock production system and its adaptability to climate change. These systems are currently deteriorating due to massive deforestation and forest degradation, declining soil productivity, climate change, and insufficient food and human nutrition.

Prevalence of Cryptosporidium in Livestock reared near Mahakali and Karnali River Basins of Western Nepal.

Tapendra Prasad Bohara, Department of Livestock Services, NepalCryptosporidiosis is an emerging protozoan disease of public health significance. Cryptosporidium parvum can cause gastrointentestinal illness in a wide variety of mammals, like humans, cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and horses. C. parvum has been incriminated as an important cause of diarrhea in neonatal calves (Nydam etal., 2001). It is also an important zoonotic pathogen transmitted primarily through water. A high prevalence of C. parvum in the human population has been found in different parts of Nepal, however very little information is available on the prevalence of Cryptosporidiosis in western Nepal.

Exploring Livestock Health Status in the Humla: Perceived Impact of Climate Change and ‘Tibau’ Disease on Local Yak Populations and Farmer Well-being.

Renu Shakya, Tribhuvan University, NepalThe Humla district is one of the most remote regions of Nepal. As a result, no research has been done to evaluate the impact of climate change on the district’s livestock’s health. Researchers assessed the impact of climate change on livestock’s health in the Humla district through a case study of the undiagnosed disease complex—’Tibau’—and its impact on the local herders and yak populations. The study utilized descriptive, exploratory, and participatory research methods for data collection. Results suggest that increased temperature, decreased rainfall and snowfall, and decreased feed and fodder have a significant impact on the health status of livestock. Herders in the Humla region of Nepal reported a local disease called ‘Tibau’ as having a significant impact on yak populations and their own well-being.

Methods and Costs for Pond-Catchment Rehabilitation on the Borana Plateau.

D. Layne Coppock, Utah State UniversityPond catchments are poorly managed because livestock access is uncontrolled. Catchments are stripped bare of vegetation due to trampling and heavy grazing, and unprotected soil is prone to erosion. When the rains come the ponds quickly fill with sediment. Sedimentation reduces pond holding capacity and much labor is required to clean them out. As part of a pilot research project we rehabilitated four ponds and their immediate catchments using a combination of: (1) Perimeter bush-fencing to confine livestock access to a few narrow corridors leading to the water’s edge; (2) erosion control using dams and trenches to capture sediment prior to it entering the ponds; and (3) pond de-sedimentation using human labor. In tandem these methods have completely renovated the four sites in less than two years and could be adopted by the pastoralists.

Sieve Structures to Control Gully Erosion on the Borana Plateau, Ethiopia.

D. Layne Coppock, Utah State UniversityGully erosion is a widespread problem on the Borana plateau. Gullies are the main pathway for sediment accumulation in community ponds, especially during heavy rains, which reduces pond capacity. Sediment movement in gullies can be substantially reduced by installation of sieve structures that slow down water flows and allow sediment to settle out of suspension. Sieves can be easily constructed from trees by community labour at low cost. The community should develop a landscape-level plan and follow a suitable sieve design.

Enclosures for Rehabilitating Pond Catchments and Implications for Grazing Management on the Borana Plateau.

D. Layne Coppock, Utah State UniversityBoran pastoralists say they have one over-riding problem: Limited drinking water for both people and livestock. Ponds are therefore a critical resource. However, lack of livestock control in pond catchments subjects them to heavy grazing and trampling that creates landscapes vulnerable to erosion. Ponds collect sediment after rainfall events and water holding capacity is reduced. We wanted to test a system to improve the management of pond catchments.

Investment Patterns of Wealthy Pastoralists on the Borana Plateau of Southern Ethiopia.

D. Layne Coppock, Utah State UniversityAn analysis of the investment portfolios of 12 wealthy pastoralists who live on the Borana Plateau of southern Ethiopia was performed based on their responses provided during face-to-face interviews held during January-February 2015. The survey respondents were found to invest primarily in livestock (about 65% of the average portfolio was livestock) but also had significant non-livestock investments. Risk reducing investments appeared to take the form of buying more camels and fewer cattle or investing in real estate or bank accounts. Cattle offer the highest average return of the assets considered but are also relatively risky due to die off during frequent drought periods. Survey respondents are likely to continue to invest in non-livestock assets as a method to reduce risk.

Outcomes of a Pastoral Sustainability Conference: The Borana People Must Better Manage Rangelands and Diversify Livelihoods for a Brighter Future.

Solomon Desta, MARIL PLC, Ethiopia and D. Layne Coppock, Utah State UniversityThis brief summarizes points made at a pastoralist conference held for 71 participants during December, 2014, in Yabelo town in the Borana Zone. The purpose of the conference was to chart a way forward for the Boran society to better address problems. The conference included speakers from the pastoral community, policy-making realm, private sector, and research organizations. It was concluded that the pastoralists must begin to better manage grazing, rehabilitate the land, and diversify livelihoods. Both the traditional leadership and the government must work together in this process, but it is the people themselves who

Can Bush-Clearing, Deferred Grazing, or Camels Help Mitigate Climate-Change and Population Effects for Borana Pastoralists? An Economic Analysis of Potential Interventions.

D. Layne Coppock, Utah State UniversityAn economic analysis of strategies to increase the resiliency of pastoral communities on the Borana Plateau is presented. Populations of people and livestock have grown in recent decades in this area. As a result of overgrazing and lack of fire, woody bush has proliferated and reduced grass forage for cattle. Droughts here are also perceived to be more frequent and severe as a result of climate change. One consequence of an increasing population and more frequent drought is that food aid has become pervasive in the system, and pastoral communities have become less resilient to drought. This analysis is based on a linear programming (LP) model, and examines possible land and livestock interventions for the Harweyu Pastoral Association that could mitigate population and climate-change effects.

Sustainable Pastoralism in Ethiopia: Preliminary Results from Participatory Community Assessments on the North-central Borana Plateau.

D. Layne Coppock, Utah State UniversityThe Borana Plateau is an important rangeland for Ethiopia. Livestock production has supported pastoralists here for many generations, and animals are now supplied to a variety of domestic and export markets. The aim of this Livestock Innovation Lab project is to find ways to improve the sustainable productivity of the pastoral system. This is a big challenge, as the rangelands have been badly degraded by decades of heavy pressure from growing human and livestock populations. As a result, there has been extensive bush encroachment on the grasslands and a recent acceleration of gully erosion. The research team used Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA), a method that allows scientists to gather information on pastoral knowledge and opinions, to reveal the priority problems of four Pastoral Associations (PAs) located within 90 kilometers of the town of Yabelo.

Pastoralist perspectives on livestock health, livelihood improvement, and environmental change in rural Tanzania.

Jonna Mazet, University of California DavisEast African pastoralists and the livestock integral to their food security, culture, and livelihoods are vulnerable to climate-change driven alterations in resource availability and disease transmission. In the rural villages bordering Ruaha National Park (RNP) in Tanzania, pastoralist communities already face pasture and water scarcity and high disease losses in their herds. As part of a long-term project to assess the impacts of education on livestock health, human nutrition, and pastoralist livelihoods, researchers conducted focus groups with diverse pastoralist representatives from 21 villages bordering RNP. These focus groups were designed to validate priority livestock health concerns with a broad sample of pastoralists in order to develop locally relevant education.

Influences of Climate, Coping Strategies and Middle Eastern Markets on the Livestock Trade in Southern Ethiopia: Preliminary Observations.

Peter Little, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USAPastoralism, which provides a livelihood for millions of people occupying the drylands of Eastern Africa, is but one component in a complex international livestock market chain. However, many small-scale livestock producers (pastoralists), in the face of difficult challenges, remain unable to take advantage of this growing market. Market off-take rates among many Borana pastoralists of southern Ethiopia remain stagnant, even with export increases, resulting in a lack of sustained quantity of marketable animals.

Pastoral Transformations to Resilient Futures: Understanding Climate from the Ground Up.

Kathleen Galvin, Colorado State University, USAChanges in climate, human population and land-use threaten the health and sustainability of livestock systems in East Africa. During a two-day workshop with Innovation Lab researchers, almost 30 pastoralists from the Athi-Kaputiei Plains and the Greater Mara Ecosystem in the Massailands of Kenya discussed their perceptions of these changes and resulting impacts on livestock production, the environment and the economy. The pastoralists also suggested and discussed solutions, such as feed storage, that may mitigate the negative effects of these changes.

Landscape Rehabilitation and Carbon Sequestration in N. Kenya.

Corinna Riginos, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USAIn order to address the growing world population, hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested in programs to increase agricultural production in dryland areas. However, these programs often fail and can leave the land even more degraded because of a failure to consider variation in the ecological, agricultural, and productive potential of different areas. Researchers in East Africa have been trying to increase the return on investment in land management by developing a rapid approach to defining ecological sites.

Cost-Effectiveness of Simple Technologies to Reduce Erosion and Promote Grass Establishment.

Corinna Riginos, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USAThe fertility of Africa’s rangelands is very important to a large number of people who rely upon livestock for their well-being and overall food security. However, large portions of these great ranges are degraded due to a loss of grass cover and fertile topsoil, which has led to an urgent need to find practical, simple, and cost-effective approaches to restoring the health of these landscapes.

Sell or Move: Preliminary observations about herder decision making during a prolonged drought.

Peter Little, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USADuring disasters such as droughts, herders confront many difficult decisions including choices about whether to sell animals or move them to distant (and hopefully greener) pastures. From this research, practical implications are gleaned as to what steps need to be taken in order to make herding more economically reliable.

Growth Performance of Sheep and Goats Fed Formulated Drought Tolerant Forages in Marsabit County, Kenya.

Moses Ima Lengarite, Department of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Development, KenyaIn drought prone areas of the world, small ruminant production is mainly constrained by lack of feed and water. Sheep and goats under drought conditions endure feeds that are low in dry matter intake and feed digestibility. The restricted feed intake is further exacerbated by inadequate drinking water. The search for drought tolerant forages for feeding small ruminants that dominate herds in pastoral areas is gathering momentum. In view of this we undertook a study to investigate the effect of feeding rations formulated from drought tolerant forages on dry matter intake, feed digestibility, and weight gain in growing sheep and goats.

The Contribution of Private Rangeland Enclosures for Pastoral Production Systems and the Future of Communal Rangelands in Borana Plateau, Southern Ethiopia.

Yibeltal T. Wassie, Hawassa University, EthiopiaOver the last two decades pastoral and agropastoral communities of the Borana plateau have been increasingly establishing private rangeland enclosures locally known as Kallos as pasture reserves to help them cope with the impacts of climate variability and livestock feed scarcity during dry periods. However, these rangeland enclosures have also come created new challenges and problems especially when viewed in the context of maintaining the traditional communal use arrangements, access and equity issues in utilization, and management practices. The main objective of this study was to examine the role of private rangeland enclosures in supporting livestock production and income of pastoral and agro-pastoal households in the face of frequent droughts and climate variability.

Determinants of Adaptation Choices to Climate Change by Sheep and Goat Producers in Northern Ethiopia: The case of Southern and Central Tigray, Ethiopia.

Fikeremaryam Birara, College of Dryland Agriculture and Natural Resources, EthiopiaWhen addressing climate-driven effects, farmers’ alternative adaptation choices are largely dependent on various factors. Accordingly, this study analyzed the determinants of climate change adaptation strategy decisions made by sheep and goat producers in the Southern and Central Tigray Zones, Ethiopia. Three hundred and eighteen sample households were included in the study from three potential livestock producing districts based on three agro-ecological settings. About 98% of the respondents recognized that the climate has changed over the last ten years.

Hillside Conservation and Income Creation as Adaptation to Climatic Change: the Case of Landless Cattle Owners in Tigray, Ethiopia.

Melaku Berhe, Mekelle Univerity, EthiopiaThe increasing threats posed by the adverse effects of climate change coupled with the growing number of landless people has pressured the local administrators of the Tigray Regional State to rethink current long-term solutions. Distributing communal mountainous hillside areas to the landless people was regarded as one of the pathways to address the problem. This study evaluated distributed mountainous areas to identify whether hillside conservation and income creation activities done by the landless cattle owners could increase their adaptive capacity while responding to climate change.

Adoption Level and Determinants to Improved Grass and Forage Legumes in Borana Agro-pastoral Systems, Southern Ethiopia.

Etalemahu Haile, Hawassa University, EthiopiaFeed and nutrition scarcity—especially during drought periods—is amongst the major constraints influencing livestock production and productivity in the Borana plateau of Southern Ethiopia. In order to overcome the problem, national and international research organizations including the International Livestock Research Institute and the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture have been attempting to develop some improved feed production and utilization technologies. One of the attempts made over the last two decades was the introduction and integration of suitable and productive indigenous and exotic grass species as well as forage legumes into the natural pastures and crop farms of households and farmers training centers.

Evaluating climate-change adaptability and cattle-preference of forage plants in Marsabit central district, northern Kenya.

David Duba Golicha, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization, KenyaDavid Duba Golicha, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization Northern Kenya is an arid or semi-arid area where pastoral livestock production is the most viable livelihood option. However, livestock production faces challenges with forage scarcity due to increased climate variability. Government and non-governmental organizations are striving to promote forage farming and in-situ forage conservation in an effort to arrest forage scarcity. This effort requires understanding of the climate-adaptability and nutrient content of forage plants preferred by livestock. Through focus group discussion, feeding observations, and nutrient analysis, the study revealed adaptability, nutrient content and preference of common forage species utilized by cattle in the Marsabit central district.

Evaluate and compare the sustainability of pure pastoral and its derivative agro-pastoral systems in Borana zone of southern Ethiopia.

Beyene T. Mellisse, Wagenningen University, EthiopiaIn southern Ethiopia of the Borana zone, a shift from pastoral to agro-pastoral farming system has increased in the last decade, despite the Borana community’s long history of pastoral livelihoods. Following such a system shift, livestock holding per household and income from livestock has significantly declined. Furthermore, pastoralists that rely on cropping have become more vulnerable to frequently occurring harvest failure. Both processes have posed challenges to the sustainability of pastoral livelihoods.

Improved Feeding Management of Indigenous Chicken Layers Raised in Semi-scavenging System by Pastoralist in Marsabit County, Kenya.

Qabale Diba, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization, KenyaRearing indigenous chicken has emerged as one of the strategies to diversify livelihood among settled pastoralist. However, the pastoralist lacked adequate knowldge on poultry rearing and as a result of this, Kenya Agricuture and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) scientists saw the need for enhancing pastoralist knowledge on feeding management using locally available feed stuff. To achieve this, an evaluation of the nutritive value of locally available food stuffs was needed to determine the potential of incorporating these products as poultry feeds in the arid lands. An on-station feeding trial was conducted using Kenyan improved indigenous chicken (KIIC), at Sheep and Goats Research institute(SGRI), KALRO Marsabit in Northern Kenya.

How Prosopis juliflora can be economically rewarding to pastoral communities in Kenya’s rangelands.

Margaret Syomiti, Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, KenyaIf unchecked, Prosopis species have the potential to wipe out pastoralism in the near future. The under-utilization of prosopis in Kenya arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) has led to the reduction of grazing land, formation of impenetrable thickets, and poisoning of livestock. This has led to the local communities calling upon the government to eradicate prosopis—which is not easy. However, in the countries from which prosopis was introduced, there are natural forests and plantations which are harnessed for timber, charcoal, honey, gum, human and animal feed.

Women and bees: adapting to climate change impacts in arid and semi-arid areas of Kenya.

Beatrice Mugo, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), KenyaBeekeeping has been shown to be a low-cost income generating activity which can produce rapid returns on relatively low investments. Farmers can easily adopt modern beekeeping as an additional activity to diversify their sources of income and encourage land users to manage forest and woodlands better, therefore creating win-win-benefits. However, farmers are not taking up this enterprise despite these benefits, and hence continue living in poverty.

Long-term grazing exclusion did not provide adequate soil carbon accumulation for carbon credits in pastoral areas of northern Kenya.

Bulle Hallo Dabasso, Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, KenyaGrazing exclusion is often thought to improve rangeland productivity and provide the extra carbon storage that warrants carbon credits. In this study we assessed soil carbon accumulation in semi-arid pastoral ecosystems of northern Kenya that have been under 82 years of grazing exclusion, and compared these findings with soil carbon storage in the adjacent areas of continuous grazing.

Mapping Risks Associated with Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) infections in Sheep and Goat Herds of Marsabit County, Kenya.

Pauline Njoki Gitonga, University of Nairobi, KenyaFollowing PPR’s introduction to Kenya in 2006, control measures in place have failed to prevent its spread throughout Northern Kenya. A risk-based surveillance study was conducted to identify the underlying factors that trigger PPR outbreaks in select vulnerable areas of Kenya. Data was collected through random sampling of 90 goats and sheep and surveying of their owners from 9 sedentary and 2 satellite sites in the Laisamis sub-county of Marsabit.

Grass Carbon Allocation Potential under Different Clipping Frequency and Irrigation Amount: Implications for Mitigation and Rangeland Management.

Samuel Tuffa Kawo, University of Hohenheim, EthiopiaKnowledge regarding the response of the carbon allocation potential of grasses to grazing and varying rainfall amounts has paramount importance in devising appropriate strategies for mitigation of carbon dioxide emissions in grazing systems. Yet, understanding how individual grasses respond to the main rangeland stressors—herbivory and drought—has been hampered by the difficulty of quantifying grass carbon allocation.

Women’s workload and their roles in livestock production in pastoral and agro-pastoral communities of Ethiopia.

Aklilu Nigussie, Ethiopian Institutes of Agricultural Research, EthiopiaWith a push to increase livestock productivity in Ethiopia, women’s workloads have intensified, as they must now balance livestock and household duties. Through household surveys and focus group discussions, researchers collected data about how much time women in different households spent on various activities. Results helped determine what technologies, adaptation strategies and trainings could be implemented that would increase efficiency and therefore productivity.

Alternative drought-resilient Livestock feeding systems as a Climate Change adaptation strategy in Arid and semi-arid areas of Kenya.

Margaret Syomiti, Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, KenyaClimate change is a major challenge to agricultural development in Africa and the world at large. Agriculture, one of the most weather-dependent of all human activities, is highly vulnerable to climate change. The negative impacts of climate change are more severely felt by rural-poor people in arid regions who rely heavily on livestock keeping. Direct effects of climate change on livestock productivity include: decline in livestock productivity, low productive potential of local breeds, decline in forage quantity, quality and distribution, declining grazing areas, problem of access to water, conflicts over limited natural resources, animal diseases and fluctuations in livestock market prices.

Use of processed Acacia tortilis pods and local grass as dry season feed supplements for lactating goats in the rangelands of northern Kenya .

Moses Lengarite, Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, KenyaMany households in northern Kenya maintain a small herd of lactating goats for milk production. However, livestock holders face major nutritional challenges during dry spells as there are inadequate supplies of natural forage and a lack of affordable supplementary feeds. To test different feed processing and storage techniques, researchers conducted an on-farm feeding trial with 20 lactating goats. In the trial, researchers set out to understand the nutritional value of processed and non-processed Acacia tortilis pods and local grass and the influence of these supplements on milk yield and growth rate of kids during the dry season.

Impacts of Change in Customary Rangeland Governance Institutions on Pastoral Livelihoods of the Borana Plateau, Southern Ethiopia.

Yibeltal T. Wassie, Hawassa University, EthiopiaPastoralism is founded on extensive livestock keeping, seasonal herd mobility, and flexible resource use and is governed by strong customary institutions known as the ‘the Gadaa System.’ It has endured for centuries as the major livelihood strategy for Borana pastoralists in Southern Ethiopia. However, today, these age-old pastoral systems and core customary institutions are under mounting pressure from a multitude of stressors. In particular, recent changes in government policies, notably establishment of peasant associations and expansion of agriculture, are affecting the livelihoods and rangeland use arrangements of the area.

The Livelihood Effects of Landless Cattle Owners’ Participation in Hillside Rehabilitation in Tigray, Ethiopia.

Melaku Berhe Redda, Mekelle University, EthiopiaAs many landless cattle owners in the Tigray Regional State in Ethiopia do not possess land grants, the regional government distributed bared communal hillside areas to them. In this act, the government hoped to give landless cattle owners the ability to supplement their incomes while also renovating the degraded hillsides. To determine if cattle owners have participated in hillside conservation and if their livelihoods have been impacted, researchers randomly selected 450 people from six districts to participate in semi-structured questionnaires.

How much is pastoral ecosystem in northern Kenya contributing to climate change mitigation through carbon sequestration?.

Bulle Hallo Dabasso, Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, KenyaPastoralism serves as a primary livelihood for many people in northern Kenya. However, governments, under the assumption that pastoralism is environmentally destructive, are discouraging pastoralism as a land use. This assumption, however, is unsupported. Carbon sequestration through sustainable rangeland and livestock management practices could actually help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and climate change mitigation. This study aims to assess carbon sequestration potential in the semi-arid pastoral ecosystems of northern Kenya by taking into account the spatial and temporal variability of range resources.

Implications of Constrained Mobility on Livestock Production and Pastoral Livelihoods of Borana Plateau, Southern Ethiopia.

Beyene Teklu Mellisse, Wageningen University, EthiopiaIn the arid and semi-arid pastoral systems of Borana, livestock mobility has been a means of utilizing pasture and water available across heterogeneous landscapes. Even though mobility has long been the key to maintaining pastoral livelihoods in dynamic rangelands characterized by high climatic and ecological uncertainty, expanding crop cultivation in pastoral areas is causing land fragmentation and thereby removing the most productive lands from the grazing herds.

Sero-epidemiological Study of Camel Brucellosis in Mehoni District, South Eastern Tigray, Ethiopia.

Habtamu Tassew Tarekegn, Mekelle University, College of Veterinary Medicine, EthiopiaAdapted to the arid climates of Ethiopia, camels serve as a vital domestic animal species for pastoralists, who rely on the animals for food security. However, infectious diseases such as brucellosis can have considerable impacts on both camel and human health. In an analysis of 450 blood samples collected from animals in the Mehoni district of northeastern Ethiopia, researchers determined the number of camels and goats that tested positive for brucellosis (i.e., sero-prevalence) in the region and identified the potential risk factors associated with the occurrence of the disease.

Climate Change, Pastoral Resources and Livestock in the Sahel.

Peter Shapland, Lara Prihodjo, and Niall Hanan, South Dakota University, USAInnovation Lab researchers in Mali work to predict and model how the combined effects of climate and land-use change will impact livestock production in West Africa in the coming years. The researchers plan to produce informational products from the research results that pastoralists can draw from in order to better adapt to and understand the changing landscape.

Modeling Zoonotic Disease Regulation under Climate Change Scenarios: A Scoping Model of Freshwater Resources in the Ruaha Landscape of Tanzania.

Brian Voigt, University of Vermont, USALivestock production in semi-arid grasslands is extremely vulnerable to climate change through altered water resource and disease dynamics. These alterations impact livestock survival and marketability, household livelihoods and health, and wildlife population dynamics. In order to address these issues, researchers in the Ruaha landscape of Tanzania have been working to develop models that integrate the interactions between economic choices, resource availability, human and animal health, and climate change. With the creation of these models, they hope to provide a tool for evaluating adaptive policy and management strategies in regard to climate change impacts.

Pastoralist Access to Livestock Health Services: Implications for Climate Change-Driven Disease.

Ian Gardner, University of Prince Edward Island, CanadaPastoralists and livestock populations in semi-arid grassland regions across the world are extremely vulnerable to climate change impacts on water, pasture, and disease dynamics. Disease, especially, can have devastating effects on livestock survival and marketability, threatening animal health and livelihoods. In order to address this growing problem, researches working in the Ruaha region of Tanzania have been preforming capacity assessments of the livestock health services available to rural pastoralists.

Mapping Transhumance Corridors in West Africa

Matthew Turner, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA and John McPeak, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, USAIn West Africa, pastoralists seasonally move along transhumance corridors to provide feed for their herds. Due to the role that livestock plays in pastoral life, corridor management is a major issue for village and commune-level government because of the competing needs of farmers and herders.