Mokey Forest Tales: How cattle rancher can increase connectivity in their farms through live fences?


As I mention before the study area of this project include several cattle ranching farms. Some are large, other not so large and some are small. But all are important for the conservation of the biodiversity in this area, even the small ones.

More important and probably something that most landowners didn’t know is that even if they don’t have big forest fragments in their farms, every native tree and live fence that is in their properties can help to conserve and increase the survivorship of the wildlife in the region.

How? My observations as well as observations from other researchers have found that although isolated native trees and live fences probably are not enough to save big populations of any wildlife species. They can help these populations to disperse between forest fragments and find partners outside of their natal groups and families.

Traditionally, in this area cattle ranching was extensive but with time that changed and some of the traditional practices such as live fences, isolated trees and groups of native trees (forest patches of less than 1 ha) in the middle of pastures are some of the traditional practices that has been lost over the years. These landscape structures are very useful for wildlife.

Monkeys, birds, some insects, snakes, frogs and other variety of small, medium and large mammals use these landscape structures as stepping stones, temporary homes or just a more hidden routes to move between forest fragments in search of food, partners and other resources. Helping wildlife to avoid predation while dispersing.

Additional to these benefits for wildlife in areas with several months of dry season, these landscape structures are also important for livestock too. During the dry season when water is scarce, livestock losses a lot of weight not only as a consequence of less quality of the grasses but also because they are exposed to high temperatures specially at noon. Therefore, live fences and isolated natives’ trees not only provided services to the wildlife in the region but also give shadow to the livestock during those hours of high temperatures, helping them to regulate temperature and avoid losing more weight.

So, if you are a farmer, not matter where, just remember that every native tree, live fence, hedgerow you have in your property had a value to improve the survivorship of the wildlife in your region and to improve the wellbeing of your livestock.

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