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Research, Policy and Practice

Table 3 Livestock mobility patterns in study area (April through November)

From: Variability is not uncertainty; mobility is not flexibility: Clarifying concepts in pastoralism studies with evidence from Tajikistan

Group Environmental context Mobility response Institutional arrangements
Type of variability Predictability Season Description Justification type
Local herds Seasonal and altitudinal variation in temperature (including snowfall and snow melt) Predictable; some temporal fluctuations ±2 weeks Springa Begin grazing of spring-fall pastures Completing the set Clearly defined territorial boundaries and user group. Grazing allowed until village leaders reserve land for fodder growth.
Summera Move up to summer pastures Completing the set Clearly defined territorial boundaries and user group.
Rotating camps within summer pastures Completing the set and diffusing pressure Access through deed or temporary contract with deed-holder.
Falla Return down to village to graze on spring-fall pastures Completing the set Clearly defined territorial boundaries and user group. Grazing allowed after fodder harvest.
Non-local herds Seasonal and altitudinal variation in temperature (including snowfall and snow melt) Predictable; some temporal fluctuations ±3 weeks Mid-spring Migrate from lowlands to summer mountain pastures Completing the set Clearly defined state-owned livestock migration routes open to all herds.
Intra-seasonal and altitudinal variation in temperature; grazing-induced variability in forage density Summera Rotating camps within summer pastures Completing the set and diffusing pressure Clearly defined territorial boundary and user group. Access through single-year contracts with State Land Committee.
Seasonal and altitudinal variation in temperature (including snowfall and snow melt) Early fall Return from summer mountain pastures to lowlands Completing the set Clearly defined state-owned livestock migration routes open to all herds.
Lowland pastures have clearly defined territorial boundaries and user groups. Access through deed.
  1. aThese mobility patterns are combined with daily grazing orbits. Daily grazing is a “diffusing pressure” response to grazing-induced variability in forage density which is predictable because it is caused by the herds themselves