Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (276 KB)

Title: Rangeland mismanagement in South Africa: Failure to apply ecological knowledge

Author: Hudak, Andrew T.;

Date: 1999

Source: Human Ecology. 27(1): 55-78.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

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

Publication Notes:

  • 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 Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.