Livestock keepers: Guardians of biodiversity

Smallholder farmers and pastoralists fulfil an invaluable yet undervalued role in conserving biodiversity. They act as guardians of locally adapted livestock breeds that can make use of even marginal environments under tough climatic conditions and therefore are a crucial resource for food security and possibly for adapting to climate change. But in addition, by sustaining animals on natural vegetation and as part of local ecosystems, these communities also make a significant contribution to the conservation of wild biodiversity and of cultural landscapes.
The Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources acknowledges and seeks to support this crucial contribution of smallholder farmers and pastoralists to keeping our planet healthy and diverse. The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues backs up this strategic approach and calls for it to be strengthened, while the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity also commits its signatories to support in situ conservation by local and indigenous communities.
This publication provides a glimpse into the often intricate knowledge systems that pastoralists and smallholder farmers have developed for the management of their breeds in specific production systems. It also describes the multitude of threats and challenges these often marginalized communities have to cope with and suggests interventions that can sustain valuable human-animal-environment relationships and combine conservation of breeds and their ecosystems with poverty alleviation.

  • Title: Livestock keepers: Guardians of biodiversity
  • Author: Ilse Köhler-Rollefson, Evelyn Mathias and Irene Hoffmann / Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations / 2009
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    A field manual of camel diseases

    Traditional and modern veterinary care for the dromedary

    “Details major camel diseases and conditions with the disease signs, its causes, and simple prevention and treatment methods. Both scientific and tried and tested traditional treatments are presented, thus enabling the veterinarian or livestock practitioner to make the most appropriate choice in the prevailing circumstances.
    The one-humped camel, or dromedary, is one of the world’s hardiest domesticated animals. A vital source of transport, meat, milk and income for pastoralists in the Sahel, East Africa, the Middle East and South Asia, the camel can carry heavy loads for days in some of the world’s most hostile conditions. But even camels fall ill.
    A Field Manual of Camel Diseases is the first practical guide to camel diseases designed for use in low technology environments. The manual details some 80 major camel diseases and conditions, ranging from abortions to wry neck syndrome. For each disease, the authors give the disease signs, its causes, and simple prevention and treatment methods. Both scientific and tried and tested traditional treatments are presented, thus enabling the veterinarian or livestock practitioner to make the most appropriate choice in the prevailing circumstances. A section on procedures explains how to examine a camel, take samples for laboratory analysis and apply various types of medicines.”

    https://developmentbookshop.com/a-field-manual-of-camel-diseases-pb

  • Title: A field manual of camel diseases
  • Author: Ilse Köhler-Rollefson, Paul Mundy, Evelyn Mathias / ITDG Publishing
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    Sheep husbandry and ethnoveterinary knowledge of Raika sheep pastoralists in Rajasthan, India

    This thesis describes the sheep husbandry and healthcare system of the Raikas in south-central Rajasthan. Aspects such as sheep breed diversity, fodder availability, disease prevalence and gender labor division are discussed. Special attention has been paid to traditional and conventional interventions and actors in sheep healthcare. Ethnoveterinary knowledge and practices are described as well as weak and strong points of both conventional and traditional institutions and actors.

  • Title: Sheep husbandry and ethnoveterinary knowledge of Raika sheep pastoralists in Rajasthan, India
  • Author: Ellen Geerlings / Wageningen UR / 2001
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