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People and Livestock in the Changing Landscape and Climate of the East African Savannas Jennifer Olson1, David Campbell1, Mario Herrero2, Stanley Karanja2, Joseph Maitima2, Simon Mugatha2, Claude Mong’ong’o3, Simon Mwansasu3, Joseph Ogutu4, Mohammed Said2, Thomas Smucker5, Edna Wangui5 ,Ben Wisner6 and Pius Yanda3 1Michigan State University; 2International Livestock Research Institute, Kenya 3University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; 4 University of Hohenheim, Germany 5 Ohio University, 6 Oberlin College Biocomplexity in the Environment Award 0709671 2010 AAG Washington, D.C. The EACLIPSE Loop Savanna Vegetation Local level •Ecosystem structure (spp., composition, ratio woody/ herbaceous) •Forage quant & quality (palatability) Climate Change •Temperature •Precipitation •Droughts •Floods Regional level •Length of growing period •Ecosystem structure •Productivity Temporal & spatial lag effects, non-linear response. Resilience to droughts Livelihood Systems - Non-farm Land Management Grazing • Intensity • Mobility • Length of Orbit Fire Frequency Land Use Scale: - Household - Community - Regional - Crops - Livestock Income diversification strategies within dynamic socio-economic system. Household Level decisions on: herd size and composition, grazing strategy, drought response Landscape Level: fire frequency, land use conversion 2010 AAG Washington, D.C. Goals How are livelihood systems of pastoralists and agropastoralists responding to climate and vegetation change in the context of the evolving socioeconomic system? – What is the role of societal differentiation on resilience and response to drought and to climate change? – How do vulnerability and coping strategies to drought evolve? – How does the role of livestock change? – How does land management change, and what effects does that have on vegetation? How does savanna vegetation respond to a changing climate? What are the combinatory effects of human land management and climatic change impacts on savanna vegetation? 2010 AAG Washington, D.C. The context • Communities consist predominantly of Maasai, the majority of whom are pastoralists and agro-pastoralists dependent almost entirely on livestock. • They are therefore vulnerable when faced by drought or disease. • Over the past few decades, changes such as communal land sub-division, reduction in rainfall, increased cultivation, and delineation of protected areas for wildlife have reduced grazing areas. • These changes have aggravated the effects of drought and reduced effectiveness of former drought coping strategies; the systems are rapidly changing. 4 2010 AAG Washington, D.C. Field sites in southern box 7 transects crossing land use intensity gradients. Kajiado District, Kenya: Risa, Mbirikani, Empiron villages, Amboseli Park Simanjiro District, Tanzania: Kitwai, Namalulu, Terat Villages, Tarangire Park 2010 AAG Washington, D.C. Approach • Multi-scale data collection and analysis, from the individual person and plant to communities. • Socioeconomic and ecological information collected along transects crossing land use intensity gradients (from within a park, to grazing only, to mixed grazing/ crops) and representing different livelihood types Ecological (60 main plots): – Plant species composition, counts, cover etc. conducted in dry and wet seasons (3 times) – Soil sampling – Survey of mangers/ users of the plot on their perception of changes in vegetation, land management changes, etc.(40, of which 20 repeated). 2010 AAG Washington, D.C. Transects, Kajiado Kenya 2010 AAG Washington, D.C. Vegetation plots • 10 plots/LU type. Plots are 50 x 100m. • 8 25x25m quadrats/plot; 16 1x1 m quadats/plot • GPS pts, photos on transects. 50 m N 1mx 1m 25mx25 m E 100 m 2010 AAG Washington, D.C. Variables recorded Plot size (m) Herbaceous 25x25 (8/plot) Ranked five dominant sp (grass & herbs 1x1m (16/plot) •% cover •% bare ground •Sp count •Ht (m) •% litter •% greenness •Burn •Grazing levl •Types & no. animals in site 2010 AAG Washington, D.C. Shrub •Ranked five dominant sp Tree •Ranked five dominant sp •Sp count •% cover •Greenness •Leafyness •Burn & age of burn •Sp count •% cover •DBH •Greenness •Leafyness •Burn & age of burn •Damage, agent & degree, age of damage “Wet” & dry season 2010 AAG Washington, D.C. Plant spp area curves by LU type Herbs Grasses Species area curve for grasses in 3 land use types Species area curve for herbs in 3 land use types 45 crop/livestock 40 w ildlife/livestock 120 crop/livestock w ildlife/livestock w ildlife 100 30 Cumulative herb sp Cumulative grass sp 35 25 20 15 w ildlife 80 60 40 10 20 5 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 0 50 5 10 15 20 Area (m2) thousands Species area curve for shrubs in 3 land use types 45 crop/livestock 40 w ildlife/livestock w ildlife 25 30 35 40 45 50 Area (m2) thousands Species area curve for trees in 3 land use types 70 Shrubs Trees crop/livestock w ildlife/livestock 60 w ildlife Green=crop/ livestock Red=livestock/ wildlife Purple=wildlife Cumulative tree sp 35 Cumulative shrub sp Mid-level disturbance has greatest diversity of shrubs, trees. Fewer grass & herb spp in park, but more rare/ declining. 30 25 20 15 50 40 30 20 10 10 5 0 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 2010 AAG Washington,Area D.C. (m2) thousands 40 45 50 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 Area (m2) thousands 40 45 50 Socioeconomic data collection Village level (6 representing 3 livelihood types): – Community mapping (single gender groups), – Wealth ranking, – Time line of livelihood/ climate/ movements, Household surveys stratified by livelihood type (180+). 2010 AAG Washington, D.C. Wealth Ranking Wealth Ranking Criteria Identified by Discussion Participants Wealth Class Wealthy Empiron >5 acres, not leased out; > 100 cattle; has employees; takes children to ‘academies’ Mbirikani > 100 cattle and employment Risa > 100 cattle and At least 30 acres Over six wives Educated children Poor Landless; No livestock; Casual worker Less than 10 cattle; No employment Less than 10 cattle; No wife or children Distribution of Households by Wealth Rank Wealthy Middle Poor 2010 AAG Washington, D.C. Empiron Mbirikani Risa 18 (12%) 68 (45%) 64 (43%) 39 (37%) 36 (34%) 30 (39%) 14 (44%) 7 (22%) 11 (34%) Mbirikani Timeline • 1976-77: rainfall decreased; leaves, not grasses; People begin businesses, buying/selling lstock, bush clearing/ burning for agriculture; • 1984 – major drought, lstock to Tsavo; further ag expansion; improved breeds become common by ‘86; • 1990 – sedentarization proceeds; GR cttee and community meet seasonally to decide on grazing pattern; • 2003 – breakdown in seasonal grazing system; people settle in Olopololi (drivers: anticipation of subdivision; opposition politics; scarcity of building materials); 2010 AAG Washington, D.C. Community Mapping Temporary river mentioned by men as well 3 1 4 2 5 Road within Impiron Curio shop 6 2010 AAG Washington, D.C. Trends (1) • Progressive declines in rainfall as evidenced by longer dry spells, shorter rainy seasons and/ or complete failure of a rainy season. • Livestock forage has reduced (due to lower rainfall, higher livestock densities). • Bush encroachment has increased (e.g., Kitwai in Tanzania and Kuku/Lenkiporoi in Kenya) perhaps due to fewer fires (less biomass to burn, govt policy). • Unpalatable bush spp increasing. • Grass is declining, especially preferred forage grass sp. (e.g Erikaru, enkarmalasiai). 2010 AAG Washington, D.C. Trends (2) • Grazing pressure has increased in some areas as forage declines, due to: – Less rainfall (unpredictable) – Subdivision of land – Population pressure (human & animals) – More wildlife in some areas (increased awareness and surveillance amid declined food resource base). 2010 AAG Washington, D.C. Trends (3) • Daily movements are longer because settled & need to return home at night (if nomadic stay nearer forage). Often need to go further for grass and water. • Land tenure & land use changing – From group ranches to individual parcels – Cropping in previously grazing areas – Some abandonment of fields due to failure of short rains 2010 AAG Washington, D.C. The field, 2007-2009 2010 AAG Washington, D.C. Impact of drought on wildlife, livestock 2010 AAG Washington, D.C. Bare ground, and shrubs 2010 AAG Washington, D.C. Drought coping /adaptation (1) • Fewer animals generally, some people abandoning livestock keeping • Long distance movements, much competition over grass & water (privatization, conflict) • Sheep & goats survive better, herd composition shifting • Trying different livestock breeds – More camels, new goat and cattle breeds from Somalia • More Maasai cultivating to cope with frequent drought. 2010 AAG Washington, D.C. Drought coping /adaptation (2) - Traditionally the Arkasis (rich) split their herds into smaller units and loaned them to the middle income or poor. In return the keepers drank the milk and kept some heifers. - Today the Arkasis sell a few bulls and hire someone to care for their animals. The Arkasis are diversifying into business, especially by selling livestock and investing in enterprises such as mining, trading. - As pasture declines, not only is livestock keeping threatened but also traditional institutions & mutual cooperation. 2010 AAG Washington, D.C. Potential paths of diversification • Decline in livestock as a dependable resource? • Cropping receding at the frontier of rainfed cultivation? • Future of tourism? • Changing urban remittances? How will these affect diversification at the extremes of the wealth spectrum? 2010 AAG Washington, D.C. Research issues, questions • Unknown reasons for woody bush encroachment. Hypotheses —fire suppression, grazing intensity, CO2 enhancement.... Or because plant types recover differently following more frequent/ longer dry periods? • Changing rainy seasons, plant phenologies affecting plant spp, types, biomes differently. • How will livelihood systems change as drought coping evolves to climate change adaptation? 2010 AAG Washington, D.C. Thank you. 2010 AAG Washington, D.C. • General observations/ Tanzania – More species varieties in the unprotected area than the protected area. – Some spp are disappearing/decreasing in the unprotected area. Such as: • • • • • -Brachiaria brizantha -Chloris wodii -Setaria verticillata -Themeda triandra -Dactyloctenium aegyptium 2010 AAG Washington, D.C. –Some spp are emerging/increasing in the unprotected area. Such as: • -Aristida adoensis • -Accacia melifera • -commiphora africana • -Crotalaria steudneri • -Euphobia cuneata • -Euphobia candelabrum • -Maytenus senegalensis • -Accacia nilotica, etc. 2010 AAG Washington, D.C.