Analyzing Effective Factors on Rangeland Exploitation by Using A'WOT (Case Study: Aq Qala Rangelands, Golestan, Iran)

Document Type : Research and Full Length Article


Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Gorgan


Rangelands are known as one of the main income resources for their exploiters.
In the recent century, management of Iran rangeland has undergone vast transformations
because of vulnerable socio-economic conditions of pastoralists. A study was done to
provide a clear picture of the status and utilization of Aq Qala rangelands via assessing
internal and external environmental factors affecting the utilization of rangelands. Thus a
SWOT was adopted to identify and assess the positive and negative factors in internal and
external environments. Data were collected through free and brainstorming interviews with
an emphasis on the knowledge and experience of rangelands’ exploiters. After content
analyzing of primary collected data, Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) and spectral
questionnaires were respectively used for range management technicians and exploiters to
quantify gathered qualitative information. Based on the results, priority of the main factors
of SWOT related to the rangelands utilization was respectively identified for opportunities,
threats, weaknesses, and strengths. The results revealed that chance of income extension
from livestock productions (weight= 0.102) had the first priority in the opportunities
section. In the threats section, drought and its consequences in rangeland exploitations
(0.095) had the highest threats from pastoralists and technicians views. Lack of water
resources and their uneven distribution (0.028) and the importance of rangelands and their
exploitation in the livelihood and economy (0.022) were respectively the main factors in
the strengths and weaknesses sections.


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