World map of pastoralists poster

This poster shows the locations of over 800 pastoralist groups around the world, and highlights pastoralist systems from the Arctic to Australia. The poster is DIN A1 size (59.4 x 84.1 cm or 23.4 x 33.1 inches).

The poster is based on the World map of pastoralists, prepared for the 2026 International Year of Rangelands and Pastoralists. Visit to see the full interactive map with details of each group.

  • Title: World map of pastoralists
  • Author: Paul Mundy
  • Description: A1-size poster of pastoralist systems around the world
  • Format: Pdf
  • Pages: 1

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    The role of pastoralism in Germany

    Evelyn Mathias, Günther Czerkus and Andreas Schenk

    This study investigates the situation of pastoralism in Germany. It gives an overview of the data sources on livestock and pastoralism in Germany, the pastoralist systems and the definitions of pastoralism used. Germany has three main types of pastoralism: sheep transhumance (Wanderschäferei, the long-distance movement of mobile shepherds and their flocks between winter and summer pastures), location-bound herding (standortgebundene Hütehaltung, where pastoralists graze their sheep and goats in a more or less wide radius around the homestead), and mountain farming (Almwirtschaft, where cattle, plus some sheep, goats and horses, stay with their herder on mountain pastures during the summer months, returning to the valleys in the autumn).

    The definitions of the various forms of pastoralism vary from state to state within Germany. There are an estimated 1,000 full-time shepherds in Germany, most of whom are mobile. Smaller enterprises with fewer sheep are less likely to be mobile and more likely to run part-time or hobby operations, or as part of a mixed farm. The 1,000 large, mobile operations graze perhaps 3.4% of Germany’s permanent grasslands.

    Livestock products include meat, milk, cheese and wool. These are worth a total of EUR 83.9 million per year for the 1,000 large operations. Environmental services include enhanced biodiversity through seed and insect dispersal, pasture fertilization by the animals’ manure, a dense grass cover, and moderate soil compaction compared to the use of machinery. Taken together, these environmental services are worth between EUR 207 and 347 million – more than the income derived from the sale of products. Other benefits include landscape maintenance for tourism and recreation, improved groundwater quality, and control of erosion, flood and wildfires. It is hard to put an economic value on these benefits.

    Mobile herding is declining because of low profitability, a growing shortage of suitable grazing land, attacks by wolves, and excessive bureaucracy. Even though the number of pastoralists in Germany is small, they make a disproportionate contribution to Germany’s economy and environment. More reliable data focusing on pastoralism is needed to obtain a better picture of the status of pastoralism and to provide a basis for efforts to support it.

  • Title: The role of pastoralism in Germany
  • Author: Evelyn Mathias, Günther Czerkus and Andreas Schenk / League for Pastoral Peoples and Endogenous Livestock Development / 2022
  • Description: Paper
  • Format: Zip
  • Pages: 46

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    Accounting for pastoralists: Why it is important and how to do it?

    Ilse Köhler-Rollefson / League for Pastoral Peoples and Endogenous Livestock Development / 2020

    Pastoralism is a way of raising animals in association with nature. It entails the movement of people and herds across landscapes, making use of natural vegetation and crop by-products. Pastoralism corresponds to public demands for high animal welfare and environmentally friendly methods of livestock production.

    If we want to make the livestock sector more sustainable, this production system requires strong policy support. But we currently do not know how many pastoralists there are either globally or within each country. This is due to the absence of data collection and because pastoralism is not a distinct category in livestock censuses. Outdated colonial concepts and one-sided focus on the “efficiency” of livestock systems have prevented the recognition of the benefits of pastoralism as a solar-powered, biodiversity-conserving food-production strategy. In order to monitor the situation and provide a basis for policymaking, FAO should lead a global initiative to define pastoralism and record data by production system.

  • Title: Accounting for pastoralists: Why it is important and how to do it?
  • Author: Ilse Köhler-Rollefson
  • Description: Information brief
  • Format: Pdf
  • Pages: 6

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