Managing feed supply and groundcover in rangelands through nutritional shepherding: ‘Rangelands Self Herding’
The Rangelands Self Herding (RSH) project worked with pastoralists to provide them with a suite of tools to influence herd behaviour in order to change grazing distributions to suit a station’s needs, depending on things such as available feed budgets and landscape condition assessments. Livestock are encouraged to modify their grazing behaviour by a combination of tactics that combined nutritional attractants, visual and audio cues that act as signals. A series of workshops were run across the WA rangelands outlining the underlying principles, and a number of trials were undertaken with pastoralists.
Collaborating pastoralists successfully modified the grazing distribution of livestock, encouraging them to graze away from water sources and from burnt country. Livestock were retained in targeted areas without relying on fencing, and grazing pressure on heavily utilized areas was reduced.
This project has created a new opportunity for profitable natural resource management and improved livestock productivity. Work in this area continues throughout the rangelands and across animal species.
This project was support by an Innovation Grant received from the Australian Government.