Grazing: Socio-ecological aspects

Evaluation of grazing services, spatial and socioeconomic characteristics of goat herding in Mt. Carmel
Ella Segal

Goats restingGrazing management and landscape planning, require a multidisciplinary approach.  Decision processes regarding grazing systems comprise not only of ecological goals and constrains (i.e. biodiversity, soil erosion, etc.), but also deals with economical (livestock production, forage value) and sociological aspects (tradition, household, etc.).

My study links aspects from multiple disciplines aiming to redefine problems outside expected boundaries of natural resource management. Furthermore, the study reach solutions based on a new understanding of the complex conditions associated to Mt. Carmel grazing challenges. Among the main questions that motivate this research, I asked questions like: Is there a difference in pasture use between different goat flocks? Do the socioeconomic characteristics of a flock influence its spatial distribution? How could land managers enhance the potential value of grazing services provided by local goat flocks?

In order to answer these questions, I linked spatial grazing patterns to socioeconomic parameters in a bottom-up planning model. This approach may provide information on grazing services potential regarding socio-economical characteristics of a given herd at a high spatial resolution.  The outcomes could be farther used to promote better and more sustainable landscape management.
A map of 14 goats herds in the Carmel      A map of estimated biomass removal by different goats herds
Ella visiting a goats herd and visiting a woman shepherd