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United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) 2021

CRIOLLO CATTLE AS A STRATEGY TO MAINTAIN OUTPUT OF ECOSYSTEM SERVICES UNDER A CHANGING CLIMATE

Criollo Cattle Ecosystem

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Titre : CRIOLLO CATTLE AS A STRATEGY TO MAINTAIN OUTPUT OF ECOSYSTEM SERVICES UNDER A CHANGING CLIMATE

Identification : 1025300

Pays : Etats Unis

Durée : START : 01 JUN 2021 TERM : 31 MAY 2025

Résumé
Ensuring the long-term sustainability of beef production and ranching as a way of life, including maintaining or improving rangeland health, requires creative solutions. This is particularly true in the face of a changing climate and extended drought periods. Heritage breeds, such as the Criollo, are a promising approach because there is evidence that they can forage over a greater proportion of the landscape and have a broader diet, suggesting that their behavior would a) effectively increase the volume of forage available to them during times when production might otherwise be expected to decline (i.e., drought), and b) lessen their ecological footprint by shifting their activity away from the most heavily-utilized areas of the landscape. The benefits of Criollo behavior have potential to be the most impactful during periods of forage scarcity, for example at the end of their time in lower elevation winter foraging areas, but before they are able to transition to higher elevation summer areas. On the Colorado Plateau, this critical period of time is projected to become longer and threaten cattle access to forage. Our central thesis is that use of Criollo cattle will help mitigate this threat due to their more diffuse space-use patterns and incorporation of shrubs into their diet. Our overall objective is to evaluate if Criollo cattle presents a potential solution to some of the current and future challenges posed by climate for ranchers on the Colorado Plateau. We will accomplish this through comparisons of Criollo versus Red Angus in terms of cattle movement and distributions, habitat use, beef production, and environmental impacts. Our approach of using Criollo cattle as a way to cope with periods of forage scarcity associated with dry times (which are expected to increase in length and intensity with climate change) will not only help maintain livestock production but also stands to maintain or even significantly increase ecosystem health and resilience relative to use of standard breeds, while also maintaining or increasing provisioning services (forage provision), regulating services (erosion prevention), and supporting services (soil formation/stabilization). Objectifs
Our overarching goal is to test whether incorporating Raramuri Criollo cattle, a heritage breed (Fig. 2), into Colorado Plateau livestock production systems facilitates adaptation to the more arid conditions that are likely under future climates, and allows for sustained beef production while maintaining or even increasing ecosystem health and resilience.Objective 1:Compare landscape use patterns between Raramuri Criollo, a heritage breed, and Red Angus, a standard breed for the Colorado Plateau.Objective 2:Assess the impacts of Raramuri Criollo vs. Red Angus on outputs of provisioning services (forage provision), regulating services (erosion prevention), and supporting services (soil formation/stabilization).Objective 3 : Contrast the compatibility of Raramuri Criollo vs. Red Angus cattle with Colorado Plateau landscapes in terms of efficiency of beef production.

Performing Institution : UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY
Investigator : Veblen, K. ; Villalba, JU, J. ; Duniway, MI, . ; Reed, SA, . ; Garcia, MA, D. ; Thacker, ER, . ; Avgar, TA, .

AWARD TOTAL : $495,230

Présentation : USDA (NIFA)

Page publiée le 2 décembre 2021