A Preliminary GPS-based Assessment
Smallholder livestock production in Mali’s rain-fed agro-pastoral systems is strongly limited by deficient levels of ruminant feeding (Eibils et al. 2015). Crop cycles frequently dictate access to common grazing resources giving way to the smallholder’s paradox. During the rainy season when quality and quantity of forages are highest, access to common grazing lands is extremely restriced because smallholders seek to minimize the risk of crop damage liability.
Conversely, during the dry season, when forages are dormant and scarce, mobility and grazing access is unrestricted. Herders (often children) can further constrain ruminant foraging choices when deciding where and for how long animals graze.
The objective of this pilot study was to characterize movement and activity patterns of herded GPS-collared ruminants during the season with highest movement/access constraints.