Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Natural Resources

Committee Chair(s)

Roger Banner


Roger Banner


Charles Gay


William Farnsworth


There is much controversy on the definition given to those people who raise livestock on the natural vegetation. Differences in the degree of their dependence on livestock and livestock products for food, as well as differences in the patterns of their movements, create the controversy. "Pure-pastoralists", "nomadic pastoralists", "semi - pastoralists", "semi-nomadic", "transhumant", and "semisedentary" are but some of the many terms used in the literature to describe them (see, for example, Johnson, 1969; Jacobs, 1965; McGee, 1986; Horowitz, 1981). To avoid much of the confusion created by the use of these terms, we use the definition of pastoralists as " . . . people who derive most of their income or sustenance from keeping domestic livestock in conditions where most of the feed that their livestock eat is natural forage rather than cultivated fodders and pastures", and who " ... devote the bulk of their own, and their families', working time and energy to looking after their livestock rather than to other economic activities" (Sandford, 1983:1). Pastoralists occupy most of the arid and semi-arid regions of Africa as the ecological conditions of these areas are mostly unfavorable for cultivation (McGee, 1986).