Corralling cattle to improve the productivity of pasture lands affected by termites

ILRI Clippings

Researchers from the Department of Animal Science in Makerere University were excited, and with good reason, as
they surveyed pasture land that had been corralled off in Nakosongala in the cattle corridor of Uganda. The team had been looking at options to improve livestock water productivity (LWP) in the Nile Basin. To their surprise, a carpet of solid vegetation now covered the expanse of land, affirming their Ethiopian colleague’s suggestion that corralling cattle every night over a two-week period would allow the desertified grassland to recover.

This simple solution was a breakthrough on a problem that had eluded ecologists and put livestock keepers under scrutiny for their role in accelerating land degradation. The completely degraded and desertified pasture land in Nakosongala had been the subject of repeated rehabilitation efforts, which failed when large termite populations destroyed young grass seedlings. Soil erosion resulting from this degradation caused nearby water sources to…

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About argylesock

I wrote a PhD about veterinary parasitology so that's the starting point for this blog. But I'm now branching out into other areas of biology and into popular science writing. I'll write here about science that happens in landscapes, particularly farmland, and about science involving interspecific interactions. Datasets and statistics get my attention. Exactly where this blog will lead? That's a journey that I'm on and I hope you'll come with me.
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