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Norwegian University of Life Sciences (2006)

EFFECTS OF CLIMATE VARIABILITY ON LIVESTOCK POPULATION DYNAMICS AND COMMUNITY DROUGHT MANAGEMENT IN KGALAGADI, BOTSWANA

Kgosikoma Olaotswe Ernest

Titre : EFFECTS OF CLIMATE VARIABILITY ON LIVESTOCK POPULATION DYNAMICS AND COMMUNITY DROUGHT MANAGEMENT IN KGALAGADI, BOTSWANA

Auteur : Olaotswe Ernest Kgosikoma

Université de soutenance : Norwegian University of Life Sciences

Grade : Master’s of science in Management of Natural Resources and Sustainable Agriculture 2006

Introduction
This thesis examines the effect of climate variability on livestock population dynamics and community drought management in Kgalagadi. The thesis is divided into two papers. In Paper 1, the objective was to determine the influence of global and local climate variability on livestock population dynamics. The indices on North Atlantic Oscillations (NAO), El Niño Southern Oscillations (ENSO) and Sea surface Temperature (SSTs) were related to regional rainfall and livestock populations. In addition, the regional rainfall was regressed and correlated with livestock population dynamics. It was observed that NAO, ENSO and SSTs were poor predictors of rainfall and livestock population dynamics (P > 0.05). These results contradict the findings of other studies that NAO, ENSO and SSTs have influence on African rainfall and agricultural productivity (Stige et al., 2006 ; Nicholson and Kim, 1997 ; Paeth and Friederichs, 2004). However, the regional rainfall accounted for variability in cattle and goat population (P < 0.05) but not sheep. The fluctuations on cattle and goat populations are probably responses to nutritional limitations during drought which induces increased mortality. In general, the results imply that global climate oscillating systems are not consistent enough to be used for agricultural planning at regional level. However, the regional rainfall variability had influence on livestock population dynamics and therefore proper management is required to buffer impact of drought on livestock and livelihood of pastoralists. Paper 2 examines the management practices used by pastoralists in response to climate variability. Data collected through a structured questionnaire was analyzed to determine management practices used by pastoralists and constraints faced during drought. Pastoralists practiced destocking, supplementary feeding and mobility to cope with drought. However, lack of funds, and forage shortage were major constraints. Subsequently, integrated livestock market and flexible use of rangeland are necessary to reduce pastoralist’s vulnerability to drought.

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Page publiée le 11 janvier 2012, mise à jour le 13 février 2018