Optimizing the location of water and feeding sites to decrease cattle contamination of natural streams
Options Mediterraneennes , 92 , 2010

Dolev, A., Carmel, Y., Yehuda, Y., Henkin, Z.

Grazing of cattle in open rangelands has lately been seriously considered as a potential pollution source of streams and lakes. The objective of this research was to evaluate the effects of locating external water troughs, feeding sites and shade in grazed paddocks, on cattle distribution. In a series of experiments, conducted during three summer seasons at the Karei Deshe experimental farm in Northern Israel, cattle movements were documented using GPS collars. We placed these external resources in various locations > 500 m away from a natural water source, and compared the resulting cattle spatial distribution pattern with that of an earlier reference period in which no external resources were introduced. The location of each of these resources affected cattle distribution. We found a decrease of 50-100% in utilization of the areas surrounding the natural spring and/or stream. These initial results indicate the potential of selecting locations of external resources to manipulate cattle movement and to improve rangeland management, such as decreasing the pollution of streams.