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Pastoralism in Natural Parks of Andalusia (Spain): a tool for fire prevention and the naturalization of ecosystems

AuthorsRuiz-Mirazo, Jabier; Robles Cruz, Ana Belén; González Rebollar, J.L.
Issue Date2009
CitationChanges in sheep and goat farming systems at the beginning of the 21st century : research, tools, methods and initiatives in favour of a sustainable development: 141-144 (2009)
SeriesOptions Méditerranéennes : Série A. Séminaires Méditerranéens
AbstractThe Environment Department of the Government of Andalusia (Spain) has recently undertaken the responsibility of integrating extensive livestock grazing as a tool for fire prevention in several Natural Parks of the region. With the participation of 19 shepherds, 910 ha of fuelbreaks are being maintained by sheep and goat flocks. Their effect is being monitored and specific research is being carried out to adjust the system. In exchange for the service provided, shepherds are paid proportionally both to the surface of fuelbreaks they maintain, and to the biomass control outcome they achieve. This is an extra income that drives their production systems towards sustainable activities integrated in the conservation of forest resources. On the other hand, extensive and scarcely managed forest pine plantations and oak-tree communities are in need of diversification (naturalization) actions. Intense grazing – by domestic or wild herbivores –has always been present in Mediterranean forest and rangelands, contributing to their diversity and dynamics. Therefore, livestock grazing is nowadays a tool that can efficiently collaborate with other initiatives in the naturalization of many simplified forest ecosystems. Both fire prevention and naturalization are main forest management issues in the 21st century, and livestock breeders have the opportunity to team up, enhance their extensive production systems and benefit from the increased social and economical recognition of their activity.
DescriptionTrabajo presentado en el 6th Seminar of the Subnetwork on Production Systems of the FAO-CIHEAM Network for Research and Development in Sheep and Goats, celebrado en Ponte de Lima (Portugal), del 15 al 17 de noviembre de 2007
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