Mongolia' s rangelands: Is livestock production the key to the future?

TitleMongolia' s rangelands: Is livestock production the key to the future?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsHavstad K, Herrick JE, Tseelei E.A.
JournalFrontiers in Ecology and the Environment
Date PublishedSeptember 2008
ARIS Log Number232174
Keywordsfuture, journal, livestock, Mongolia, rangeland
AbstractApproximately half of the world’s land areas is rangeland. Over 1.5 billion people live on or immediately adjacent to this land type. Common to these rangelands are over 1 billion domesticated animals, primarily cattle, sheep and goats that are managed by pastoralists. The ruminant digestive system common to these livestock species evolved over 20 million years ago and is a mutualistic digestive system that break cellulose bonds to free masses of metabolizable energy present it the nature and introduced forages of these rangelands. Approximately 10% of eh world’s population are pastoralists, and many of these people live at poverty levels. However, these landscapes can also provide additional goods and services other than food and fiber. This manuscript is a viewpoint article that debates the capacity of pastoralists, specifically those in Mongolia, to develop other goods and services in order to increase their standard of living while maintaining a sustained capacity to produce food and fiber A key need for managing a diverse set of goods and services form any landscape, including grasslands, of Mongolia, is knowledge of the values of alternative ecosystem services and their resulting economic opportunities. This knowledge is unavailable at this time except for a few services with market opportunities.