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Research, Policy and Practice

Pastoralism Cover Image

As of 1 January 2024, Pastoralism is no longer published by Springer Nature and future papers will be published by Frontiers. Any enquiries regarding new submissions can be sent to the Editor-in-Chief, Carol Kerven, at 

Introducing the PASTRES Early Career Researcher Award

We are happy to announce a prize for the best paper by an early career researcher, practitioner or policy-maker. The prize will cover the costs of publishing an open access paper in the journal, and the winning paper will be shown on the home page as the ”Editor’s Featured Article”. We will nominate three or more candidates and ask the Journal’s Editorial Board  to select a winner and runner-up. 

The prize is supported by the PASTRES (Pastoralism, Uncertainty and Resilience: Global Lessons from the Margins) research programme through funding from a European Research Council Advanced Grant (no: 740342).


Aims and scope

Pastoralism: Research, Policy and Practice investigates extensive livestock production systems throughout the world from a variety of disciplinary perspectives across the biophysical, social and economic sciences. The journal publishes research, reviews, reports and commentaries that influence public policy on the rangelands and livestock on which pastoralists rely for their livelihoods. These studies are not applied in the traditional sense, but through publishing basic research in this field Pastoralism acts as a forum for sharing information between scientists, policy makers and practitioners, with the aim of improving the welfare of pastoralists and better conserving the environments in which they live and the livestock upon which they rely.

The journal was founded in 2009 by Roy Behnke and Carol Kerven, social anthropologists who have each worked for forty years in pastoral and rangeland research and development in many countries. Carol is the Editor-in-Chief and Roy is the Book Review editor.

Pastoralism is now in ESCI

Emerging Sources Citation Index is a new edition in Web of Science Core Collection - part of Clarivate Analytics. ESCI is a multidisciplinary Citation Index covering all areas of the scholarly literature of the sciences, social sciences and arts & humanities. The selection process for ESCI is related to the process applied to SCIE, SSCI and AHCI. Journals accepted for coverage in ESCI must be peer reviewed, follow ethical publishing practices, meet our technical requirements, have English language bibliographic information, and be recommended or requested by a scholarly audience of Web of Science users.

Article publishing charges, waivers and sponsorships

Open access publishing is not without costs. Pastoralism therefore levies an article-processing charge (APC) of for each article accepted for publication. Pastoralism can waive the APC for a number of articles at the discretion of the Editor-in-Chief. More information about APCs, memberships and waiver programs can be found here.

Special issue on Pastoralism in South Asia

Carol Kerven and Rashmi Singh

New Content Item

Kinnaura herder leads his sheep and goats across the Pin-Bhaba pass, India. Photo: Munib Khanyari

Countries of south Asia - India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bhutan - contain many groups making their living mainly by raising livestock extensively on pastures, often migrating seasonally between  the high altitude Himalayas to the plains (Rao and Casimir 2003;  Sharma 2011). These pastoral groups are experiencing profound transitions due to social, political, ecological and climatic factors. Improved connectivity with roads, as well as development of towns, markets, health and education facilities, are all offering new opportunities. On the negative side, constriction of pastureland by new settlements and officially protected areas is reducing access for livestock grazing.  Socio-economic differentiation and inequality are rising within pastoralist groups. Climate change is rendering some areas either less or more attractive for livestock.  Ultimately, these drivers result in winners and losers, as some pastoralists successfully adapt to new opportunities and pressures, while others are pushed out of pastoralism. Controversies abound on the optimal ways that pastoralism should proceed in these countries. 

Often migrating with their livestock between ecological zones (Agrawal and Saberwal 2007; Bhasin 2011;  Kreutzmann 2012), south Asia’s pastoralist peoples are users and custodians of vast land areas in flora and fauna hotspots. There are other claims on this land – by farmers, foresters, town-dwellers, hunters, tourists, and nature conservationists.  These combinations - and often conflicts - of land usages have complex effects on the environment as well as on pastoralists’ livelihoods.  

Yak herders in Bhutan. Photo: Phub Dorj

A Special Issue on this topic was commissioned by Pastoralism earlier this year.  Seven research case studies are now published whose first authors are scholars and scientists from the south Asian region – India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bhutan.  The peoples and places include migratory Kinnaura and local herders using the Pin valley in Himachal Pradesh, India; Gaddis of Himachal Pradesh and the Van Gujjars of Uttarakhand, India; agropastoral Gaddis in Chamba district in Himachal Pradesh, India; transhumant agropastoralists in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan; agropastoralists in Madi Chitwan, Nepal; Dokpa pastoralists of North Sikkim, India; and pastoralists using Jigme Khesar Strict Nature Reserve and buffer zone, Bhutan. The study areas border on Afghanistan to the west, Xinjiang and Tibet (PRC) to the north, and cover agro-climatic zones ranging from moist temperate valleys and foothills to alpine meadows and cold arid deserts. Grazing these areas are domesticate sheep, goats, cattle, yaks, horses and buffaloes, moving between 1,000 up to 5,000 masl, depending on the season. Numerous wildlife species also share these lands, such as snow leopard, Asiatic ibex, blue sheep and Tibetan wolf, having protected status. 


Agrawal, A., & Saberwal, V. K. 2007. Whither South Asian pastoralism? An introduction. Nomadic Peoples, 8(2), 36–53.
Bhasin, V., 2011. Pastoralists of Himalayas. Journal of Human Ecology, 33(3), pp.147-177.
Kreutzmann, H. (Ed.). 2012. Pastoral practices in High Asia. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands. 
Rao, A. and Casimir, M.J., 2003. Nomadism in South Asia. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Sharma, A., 2011. South Asian Nomads--A Literature Review. CREATE Pathways to Access. Research Monograph No. 58. Centre for International Education. Brighton: University of Sussex 

New Content Item

Gaddi pastoralists at transhumance rest stop, India. Photo: Aayushi Malhotra

To view this collection click here.

Editor's quote

Raising domesticated livestock on extensive pastures is one of the oldest human adaptations as a system of provisioning and land use. More than 40% of the earth's land area is still used as grazing land, by peoples from the tropics to the sub-Arctic, and include ranchers, nomads and farmers. The Pastoralism Journal is the only platform focused on the extensive land use of livestock-dependent production systems, covering biophysical, policy, social, economic, technical and cultural issues.

Policies and development programmes for pastoralists and their environments need to be founded on up-to-date, factual and objective information about what is happening, why and where it is happening and on the impacts. While many development agencies publish summaries and syntheses of primary material, the Pastoralism Journal provides open access to primary material upon which syntheses can be reliably based.

All the journal’s papers are free to anyone with internet access anywhere in the world, and the authorship of the journal is highly international, with 120 first authors spread across the world, affiliated to institutions in 38 different countries ranging from Argentina to Yemen.

Carol Kerven, Editor-in-Chief

Annual Journal Metrics

  • 2022 Citation Impact
    2.5 - 2-year Impact Factor
    2.9 - 5-year Impact Factor
    1.479 - SNIP (Source Normalized Impact per Paper)
    0.719 - SJR (SCImago Journal Rank)

    2023 Speed
    28 days submission to first editorial decision for all manuscripts (Median)
    145 days submission to accept (Median)

    2023 Usage 
    153 Altmetric mentions

Indexing services

  • All articles published in Pastoralism are listed in the following indexing services:

    • SCOPUS
    • CAB Abstracts
    • CAB International
    • DOAJ
    • Global Health
    • OCLC
    • SCImago
    • Summon by Proquest