How Pastoralists in Mongolia perceive vegetation changes caused by grazing

Kaoru Kakinuma, Takahiro Ozaki, Seiki Takatsuki, Jonjin Chuluun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


It is widely recognized that changes in livestock grazing in Mongolia after the early 1990s has increased concerns regarding land management and a need for better management strategies. Traditional knowledge and experiences of the Mongolian pastoralists should be used for such strategies. If pastoralists recognize the seriousness of 'overgrazing' or signs of overgrazing, management can be guided to use this traditional ecological knowledge to develop more effective strategies. This paper describes vegetation changes caused by grazing and how pastoralists assess these changes. We have found that pastoralists use certain types of plants as indicators to assess vegetation changes. They consider 'nariin' (narrow) plants, which often include short grasses and sedges, as good because livestock prefer them. However, most of the interviewed pastoralists thought that the main reason for vegetation degradation is temperature increase, not overgrazing. This case study suggests the usefulness of such interviews together with vegetation surveys.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-73
Number of pages7
JournalNomadic Peoples
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Dec 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Ecological knowledge
  • Grazing management
  • Mobile pastoralists
  • Mongolia
  • Overgrazing
  • Vegetation change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography


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