Contemporary Pastoralism in the Dhofar Mountains of Oman

Human Ecology:

In the Dhofar Mountains of Oman stakeholders are concerned about the social and ecological sustainability of pastoralism. In this study we used interviews with pastoralists to examine the prevailing drivers of pastoralism and how they are changing. We find that people are committed to pastoralism for sociocultural reasons but also that this commitment is under pressure because of husbandry costs and changing values. We find that capital investment in feedstuff enables pastoralists to overcome the density-dependent regulation of livestock populations. However, high production costs deter investment in marketing and commercialization, and there is little off take of local livestock. Our study reveals how pastoral values, passed down within households, motivate pastoralists in the face of high husbandry costs, modernization and social change.


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