Some considerations on the organization and management of rangelands - the case of the Senegalese Ferlo (Sahel)

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The problems associated with the exploitation of Sahelian rangelands in the Senegalese Ferlo is discussed, using a 70 000 ha area around the Labgar pastoralists' association. During the good years such as 1985, the annual rainfall is higher than 350 mm and its distribution is favourable. The area can then feed from 13 000 to 14 000 Tropical Livestock Units (TLU) on its 70 000 ha, and in addition 75% of the DM yield is available as "standing day" or for cutting, to be stored as a reserve for bad years. The management strategy which can be proposed during such good years is based upon the large forage yield, and on the existence of many temporary watering points which can keep the livestock far from the borehole until Dec. or Jan., that is 3-4 months after the end of the rainy season. During the bad years, when rainfall is less than 250 mm and poorly distributed during July and Aug., the productivity corresponds to only one month of grazing for the 12 000 to 13 000 TLU, which represents the total livestock. The rangeland management strategy must be different for these years and must consider, among other things, the possibility of a transhumance with a careful planning of the potential destinations, better organization of the livestock markets, using attractive prices, and the availability of grazing reserves for the weaker animals. (CAB Abstracts)


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Grasslands, Range management, Rangelands, Ecosystem