Ecology and Management of the Saiq Plateau Rangelands, Oman

Michael D. Robinson, Laila S. Al Harthi

Abstract


The high-elevation rangelands of the Saiq Plateau are degraded and require new management strategies. Three livestock species consume many of the same plants throughout the year, placing continual grazing pressure on the ecosystem. Plant canopy cover is generally low (0-13%) and large areas of bare soil exist between perennial vegetation. Soils are shallow, erosive and low in organic matter. The poor ecological condition of the range poses a threat to endangered and endemic mountain species, contributes to eutrophication of freshwater and decreases animal production and income for local farmers. Feral donkeys must be removed from the environment, goat and sheep herds reduced to levels sufficient to sustain their owners, and traditional livestock-free pastures should be resumed. This or similar management plans could restore the natural vegetation in 10-20 years.

Keywords


Oman Rangeland Ecology; Livestock Management; Soil Management; Saiq Plateau

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