Ecology, Environment and Conservation Paper

Vol 20, Issue 3, 2014; Page No.(899-906)


Masoud Masoudi and Maryam Vahedi


Overgrazing accelerates soil and vegetation degradation in Rangelands. So, Livestock Population Density, i.e., allocated number of sheep per ha- can serve as an index for measuring pressure on range environment. For this purpose, FARS province has been selected as the study area, where it is located in the southern part of Iran. The required data has been extracted from existed records and published reports in ministry of Agriculture, ministry of Energy, Iran Statistics Center and Meteorology Organization. This study is to assess livestock pressure on rangeland in the study area, using Geographic Information System (GIS) tools and a model based procedure. FAO/UNEP Model has been selected for this purpose, which uses a ratio of potential carrying capacity of region to current Livestock Population Density as an Index for livestock Pressure. However, the model has been modified in this study to achieve a better estimation of pressure index according to the actual conditions of the region. Parameters which have been used to modify this methodology are: Topographic and Local parameters. Local parameters are annual consumption for livestock unit in the study area, dependency of each livestock to pasture, number of livestock unit for each animal and land use map. Also due to the difference livestock pressure in mountainous, plain and hilly areas, in order to calculate the adjusted ADL in the altitude of mountain range, the mountainous area in each subregion was divided into three parts. Hazard map of pressure of livestock was prepared after overlying and calculating the different parameters in a GIS. According to the results, hazard classes of severe and very severe include about 28% of the study area. Areas, including higher classes of hazard severity have been identified in the Northeast part of the region. It is because of low potential of natural rangeland to grow enough forage and also a high number of livestock. Poor soil and harsh climate decrease natural potential of rangeland to grow more forage and to support livestock efficiently.

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