You are here: Home
/ Publication Information
Title: Rangeland mismanagement in South Africa: Failure to apply ecological knowledge
Author: Hudak, Andrew T.
Source: Human Ecology. 27(1): 55-78.
Description: Chronic, heavy livestock grazing and concomitant fire suppression have caused the gradual replacement of palatable grass species by less palatable trees and woody shrubs in a rangeland degradation process termed bush encroachment in South Africa. Grazing policymakers and cattle farmers alike have not appreciated the ecological role fire and native browsers play in preventing bush encroachment. Unpredictable droughts are common in South Africa but have deflected too much blame for bush encroachment away from grazing mismanagement. Bush encroachment is widespread on both black and white farms, although the contributing socioeconomic, cultural, and political forces differ. Managers at Madikwe Game Reserve have reintroduced fire and native game animals in to a formerly overgrazed system in an attempt to remediate bush encroachment, with encouraging preliminary results. A bush control program is needed that educates cattle farmers about the ecological causes of bush encroachment and encourages the use of fire and native browsers as tools for sustainable grazing management.
Keywords: bush encroachment, carrying capacity, grazing policy, rangeland management, stocking rate
View or Print this Publication (276 KB)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
Hudak, Andrew T. 1999. Rangeland mismanagement in South Africa: Failure to apply ecological knowledge. Human Ecology. 27(1): 55-78.
Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility