Mobile Pastoralism Contributes to Habitat Heterogeneity (Day 12)

by Apr 27, 2019In the Field, Photo Stories0 comments

On the 12th day, th Bacak family of Sarıkeçili nomadic pastoralists travelled 104km up to an altutude of 1666 meters. Having now reached the top of the Taurus Mountains the herd starts to move towards the steppes of central Anatolia. Mobile pastoralists who cross a variety of habitats from the Mediterranean shores to the steppes of inner Anatolia play a significant role in contributing to habitat heterogeneity and maintaining connectivity between them. The scale of connectivity and heterogeneity are inextricably linked, and the movement of mobile pastoralists with their livestock between winter and summer landscapes contributes to habitat heterogeneity and diversity of species of different taxonomic groups, that this heterogeneity allows. It’s also through movement and the connectivity it ensures that this heterogeneity is maintained, integrating these separated patches (structural connectivity) with species diversity and movement and ecological processes they support (functional connectivity) into a single functioning system, so the patches start to affect each other indirectly. In addition to structural and functional connectivity, and considering the forced shifting of species’ ranges to track suitable conditions due to climate change and other threatening processes, migration routes also contribute to evolutionary connectivity for plant species.

Mobile pastoralism ensures connectivity at a significant scale despite a strong decline in the practice and can contribute to the maintenance of a connected protected area system, integrated into the wider landscape. Therefore, among many other reasons, this is why mobile pastoralists protecting and maintaining these migration routes should be supported and empowered with existing conservation mechanisms. These include considering migration routes within the framework of Areas of Connectivity Conservation and Other Effective Area-Based Conservation Measures.

Yolda Initiative is a nature conservation NGO based in Turkey and operating at international level. Yolda works for the conservation of biodiversity through research, advocacy, communications and partnerships. Recognizing that humans, with their cultural diversity, are an integral component of ecosystems, traditional cultural practises that benefits biodiversity are a particular focus of Yolda.

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