Indigenous knowledge of herders for classification and assessment of grazing landscapes in Northern Khorasan, Iran

Indigenous knowledge

Mehdi Moameri, Masoomeh Abasi Khalaki, Hosein Shakib, Hadi Mohammadzadeh Khani

Key words: Indigenous knowledge, herder, grazing landscape, northern Khorasan.

Abstract:

To conduct this research we selected 42 herder informants known to be most knowledgeable about the local landscapes. The interviews took place at the field survey and the herders’ camps and data were collected during fieldwork using interview, observation and semi-structured questionnaire. We asked the herders of northern Khorasan to study of ‘‘criteria of grazing landscapes classification, assessment of grazing landscapes and assessment indicators of grazing suitability’’. The results showed that for selection of the ‘‘criteria of grazing landscapes classification’’ the herders used their indigenous knowledge of grazing lands classification in order to determining the types of grazing landscapes. They used criteria of topography and type of grazing lands. For the ‘‘assessment of grazing landscapes’’ the herders used vegetation indicators including ecological status, fodder values and life forms for determine livestock grazing preferences. Based on changes in the type of cover, forage quality and plant species composition, they were altering livestock composition. Herders for ‘‘assessment of grazing suitability’’ used ecological and livestock production indicators. In general, Northern Khorasan herders’ indigenous rangeland knowledge has implications for participatory research of scholars and indigenous herders, for verifying and testing methods of ecological traditional, as well as for sharing information in order to promote scientific and practical range management.

Article Source: Volume 4, Number 1, January 2014 – JBES

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