Forage Loss Valuation under Traditional Pastoralism in Arid to Semiarid Rangelands of Iran
Economic valuation of rangelands is one of the best methods for conservation goals. A study was conducted to assess the economic value of forage loss under the two main forms of traditional pastoralism i.e. sedentary pastoralism and nomadism in historic grazing semiarid rangelands in Khabr National Park, Kerman province, Iran in 2019. Forage production was measured by clip-and-weigh method and forage quality was assessed using Crude Protein (CP) and Acid Detergent Fibre (ADF) indices. The replacement cost method was used for forage valuation and Total Digestible Nutrients (TDN) was used as the principal character of forage value. Forage production was decreased by 65% and 78% under nomadism and sedentary pastoralism respectively as compared to exclosure. Assessing species distribution along grazing gradient, using Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA), showed that forage quality decreased as grazing intensity increased due to plant composition change. Lathyrus annuus and annual grasses were the highest and lowest value forage, respectively. The forage values for exclosure area, near exclosure area and near village and pastoral tent were 75 $, 20-25 $ and 6-10 $.ha-1.year-1, respectively, indicating 65 to 92% reduction in the forage value in traditional pastoralism forms than to exclosure area. Therefore, there was priority to perform appropriate grazing systems such as rest rotational grazing to improve the condition of historic grazing lands and pastoral’s income.