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Cattle transhumance and agropastoral nomadic herding practices in central Cameroon

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Original languageEnglish
Article number214
Number of pages12
JournalBMC Veterinary Research
Volume14
Early online date3 Jul 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Jul 2018

Abstract

Background: In sub-Saharan Africa, livestock transhumance represents a key
adaptation strategy to environmental variability. In this context, seasonal livestock
transhumance also plays an important role in driving the dynamics of multiple
livestock infectious diseases. In Cameroon, cattle transhumance is a common
practice during the dry season across all the main livestock production zones.
Currently, the little recorded information of the migratory routes, grazing locations
and nomadic herding practices adopted by pastoralists, limits our understanding of pastoral cattle movements in the country. GPS-tracking technology in combination with a questionnaire based-survey were used to study a limited pool of 10 cattle herds from the Adamawa Region of Cameroon during their seasonal migration, between October 2014 and May 2015. The data were used to analyse the trajectories and movement patterns, and to characterize the key animal health aspects related to this seasonal migration in Cameroon.
Results:
Several administrative Regions of the country were visited by the transhumant
herds over more than 6 months. Herds travelled between 53 and 170km to their
transhumance grazing areas adopting dierent strategies, some travelling directly
to their destination areas while others having multiple resting periods and grazing areas. Despite their limitations, these are among the rst detailed data available on transhumance in Cameroon. These reports highlight key livestock health issues and the potential for multiple types of interactions between transhumant herds and other domestic and wild animals, as well as with the formal livestock trading
system.
Conclusion: Overall, these ndings provide useful insights into transhumance
patterns and into the related animal health implications recorded in Cameroon.
This knowledge could better inform evidence-based approaches for designing
infectious diseases surveillance and control measures and help driving further
studies to improve the understanding of risks associated with livestock movements
in the region.

    Research areas

  • Transhumance, Cameroon, GPS, Cattle, Livestock movements

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