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Fragmenting pastoral mobility: Changing grazing patterns in Post-Soviet KazakhstanAuthor(s): Carol Kerven; Ilya Ilych Alimaev; Roy Behnke; Grant Davidson; Nurlan Malmakov; Aidos Smailov; Iain Wright
Source: In: Bedunah, Donald J., McArthur, E. Durant, and Fernandez-Gimenez, Maria, comps. 2006. Rangelands of Central Asia: Proceedings of the Conference on Transformations, Issues, and Future Challenges. 2004 January 27; Salt Lake City, UT. Proceeding RMRS-P-39. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 99-110
Publication Series: Proceedings (P)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
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DescriptionKazak nomads were seasonally mobile in the pre-Soviet period, in response to climate variability and landscape heterogeneity. The scale of these movements was interrupted during the Soviet period, but some degree of mobility remained. Mobility virtually ceased in the post-Soviet 1990s, but is reemerging as flock numbers rebound from the mid 1990s population crash.
The paper presents results from a three-year multidisciplinary study in southeast Kazakstan, from 2000 to 2004. The study areas cover ecological transects of up to 600 km in length, which in some cases are still traversed by pastoral flocks. The transects cover desert, semi-desert, riverine, semi-steppe, foothill and sub-alpine pastures, with precipitation ranging from 150 mm to 650 mm.
Results show the proportions of livestock grazed around villages and those which are seasonally mobile. Animal nutrition and economic factors associated with livestock mobility are presented. Forage assessments indicate discrepancies between available resources and their exploitation, due to decreasing mobility.
Under the current grazing systems, pastures distant from settlement are now mainly unused and former integral grazing circuits have therefore become fragmented. Non-mobile livestock have lowered productivity compared to mobile livestock.
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CitationKerven, Carol; Alimaev, Ilya Ilych; Behnke, Roy; Davidson, Grant; Malmakov, Nurlan; Smailov, Aidos; Wright, Iain. 2006. Fragmenting pastoral mobility: Changing grazing patterns in Post-Soviet Kazakhstan. In: Bedunah, Donald J., McArthur, E. Durant, and Fernandez-Gimenez, Maria, comps. 2006. Rangelands of Central Asia: Proceedings of the Conference on Transformations, Issues, and Future Challenges. 2004 January 27; Salt Lake City, UT. Proceeding RMRS-P-39. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 99-110
KeywordsKazakstan, pastoralists, seasonal mobility, economic change
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