Diet Selection by Sheep and Goats on Upland Rangelands (North Alborz) Case Study: Javaherdeh Rangeland of Ramsar

Document Type : Research and Full Length Article

Authors

1 Rangeland Management, Gorgran University of Agricultural and Natural Resources Sciences

2 Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

Abstract

To reach the desirable ecosystem management, determining the animal diet
selection, which is one of the components of rangeland ecosystem, is important. Therefore, in
order to determine the grazing behavior and diet selection of sheep and goat, the upland
rangeland of northern part of Alborz was selected. In this study, the first weeks of July and
August of 2009 were chosen for the grazing period of the animals. Range value and range
trend method and the help of trend balance determined the range conditions and plant
compositions in these two periods. Using the bite counting method, the grazing behavior of
animals (sheep and goat) was observed from 0.5-2m via half an hour focus on each one and
completing hundred records. Data collected and analyzed through the analysis of variance.
Results showed that the bite counting method is a useful tool for determining the diet
selection of sheep and goat. The animals have selected different layers of vegetation cover;
therefore, range conditions have an effective role on the diet selection of animals within a
grazing period. It has also shown that consumption rate was different in daily grazing in
which sheep preferred to graze the forbs and goat browsed the bushy tree and shrub species if
the grazing conditions were normal without any tension. Knowledge of the conditions of
animals’ diet selection in each area could have an effective role on the production of
rehabilitation and development programs.

Keywords


Augustine, D.J. and McNaughton, S.J.
1998. Ungulate effects on the functional
species composition of plant
communities: herbivore selectivity and
plant tolerance. Jour of Wildlife Mana,
62: 1165-1183.
Arzani, H., and K. Naseri, 2005. Livestock
feeding on pasture, University of Tehran
publications, Theran, Iran. 301 P. (In
Persian).
Arzani, H., 2009. Forage quality and daily
requirement of grazing animal, University
of Tehran publications, Theran, Iran. 354
P. (In Persian).
Arzani, H., M., Zohdi, E., Fisher, G.H.,
Zaheddi Amiri, A., Nikkhah and D.,
Wester, 2004. Phenological effects on
forage quality of five grass species. Jour.
Range Mange., 57: 624-630. (In Persian).
Askarizadeh, D., GH. A. Heshmati & M.
Mahdavi, 2009. Investigation of diet
selection of sheep on upland rangeland of
northern Alborz Case study: avaherdeh’s
rangeland of Ramsar, Rang Jour. Iran,
3(3): 413- 427. (In Persian).
Austrheim, G. and Eriksson, O. 2001. Plant
species diversity and grazing in the
Scandinavian mountains - patterns and
processes at different spatial scales.
Ecography, 24: 683-695.
Beck, J. L. and J.M. Peek, 2005. Diet
composition, forage selection, and
potential for forage competition among
elk, deer, and livestock on Aspen–
Sagebrush summer range. Rangeland
Ecol. Manage., 58: 135-147.
Barani, H., A.A. Mehrabi, M. R.
Moghaddam, and M. Farhadi, 2003.
Temporal and spatial grazing patterns in
eastern Alborz. Iranian Jour. Natural,
Res. 56(1,2): 117-130.
Baghestani N., H. Arzani, M. T. Zare, and
J. Abdollahi, 2004. Study quality steppe
rangeland forage species important
Poshtkuh Yazd province, Jour. Range
and Desert Research, 11(2): 137-162.
Bradbury, J.W., Vehrencamp, S.L.,
Clifton, K.E., and L.M. Clifton, 1996.
The relationship between bite rate and
local forage abundance in wild
Thomson’s gazelles. Ecology, 77: 2237-
2255.
Climate information, 2009. Weathering
forecasting of Airport station of Ramsar,
Iran.
Codron, D., J. Lee-Thorp, M. Sponheimer
and J. Codron, 2007. Nutritional content
of savanna plant foods: implications for
browser/grazer models of ungulate
diversification. Eur. Jour. Wildlife Res.,
53: 100-111.
Forbes, T.D.A., 1989. Researching the
Plant-Animal Interface: the investigation
of Ingestive Behavior in Grazing
Animals, Jour. Anim Sci, 66: 2369-2379.
Forbes, A.B., C.A. Huckle and M.J. Gibb,
2007. Evaluation of the effect of
eprinomectin in young dairy heifers subclinically infected with gastrointestinal
nematodes on grazing behavior and diet
selection, Veterinary Parasitology, 150:
321-332.
Henley, S.R., D.G. Smith and J.G. Raats,
2001. Evaluation of three techniques for
determining diet composition. Jour.
Range Manage., 54: 582–588.
Heshmati, G.A., M. Baghani and O.
Bazrafshan, 2006. Comparison of
nutritional values of 11 rangeland species
in eastern part of Golestan province.
Pajouhesh & Sazandegi, 73: 90-95. (In
Persian).
Hobbs, N.T. 1996. Modification of
ecosystems by ungulates. Jour. Wildlife
Manat, 60: 695-713.
Holechek, J.L., M. Vavra and R.D. Pieper,
1982. Botanical Composition
Determination of Range Herbivore Diets:
A Review, Jour. Range Manage. 35(3):
309-315.
Holmgren. R.C., and S.S., Hutchings,
1972. Salt desert shrub response to
grazing use. In: Wild land shrubs: Their
biology and utilization, (C.M., McKell,
J.P., Blaisdell, and J.R., Gooding, eds),
USDA for. Serv. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-1.,
Utah state university, Logan, Pp: 153-
164.
Lane, M.A., M.H. Ralphs, J.D. Olsen, F.D.
Provenxa and J.A. Pfister, 1990.
Conditioned taste aversion: potential for
This is trial version
www.adultpdf.com
Journal of Rangeland Science, 2011, Vol. 1, No. 4 D. Askarizadeh et al. /293
reducing cattle loss to larkspur. Jour.
Range Manage 43: 127-l31.
Milne, J. A., 1991. Diet selection by
grazing animals, Nutrition Society, 50:
77-85.
Mysterud, A. 2006. The concept of
overgrazing and its role in management
of large herbivores. Jour. Wildlife
Biology, 12: 129-141.
Osmond, D.L., D.M. Butler, N.R.
Rannells, M.H. Poore, A. Wossink and J.
T. Green. 2007. Grazing Practices: A
Review of the Literature. North Carolina
Agricultural Research Service, Technical
Bulletin 325-W. North Carolina State
University. Raleigh, NC.
Parker, D.M., and R.T.F. Bernard, 2006. A
Comparison of Two Diet Analysis
Techniques for a Browsing
Megaherbivore, The Jour. Wildlife
Manag, 70(5): 1477-1480.
Poole, K. G., K. Stuart-Smith, and I. E.
Teske. 2009. Wintering strategies by
mountain goats in interior mountains.
Can. Jour. Zool. 87(3): 273-283.
Ralphs, M. H. and J. D. Olsen, 1990. The
adverse influence of social facilitation
and learning context in training to avoid
eating larkspur. Jour. Anim. Sci. 68:
1944-1952.
Sanon, H.O., C. Kabor´e-Zoungrana and I.
Ledin, 2007. Behavior of goats, sheep and
cattle and their selection of browse
species on natural pasture in a Sahelian
area, Small Ruminant Research, 67: 64–
74.
Safaian, N. & M. Shokri, 2003. An new
method to determine of rangeland
condition and capacity on north of Iran,
Iranian Jour. of Natural Resou, 55(4):
597-605. (In Persian).
Schwartz, C.C. and J.E. Ellis, 1981.
Feeding ecology and niche separation in
some native and domestic ungulates on
the short grass prairie. J. Appl. Ecol. 18:
343-353.
Shrestha, Anil Kumar, Per Wegge & Stein
Moe, 2006. Dry season diets of sympatric
ungulates in lowland Nepal: competition
and facilitation in alluvial tall grassland.
Jour. Ecological Research, 21: 698-706.
Spalinger, D.E. and Hobbs, N.T., 1992.
Mechanisms of foraging in mammalian
herbivores: new models of functional
response. Am. Nat. 140: 325-348.
Thomson, B.C., Cruickshank, G.J., Poppi,
D.P. and Sykes, A.R., 1985, Diurnal
patterns of rumen fill in grazing sheep.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society
of Animal Production 45: 117-120.
Van Niekerk, W.A., and H. Abubeker.
2009. Qualitative evaluation of four
subtropical grasses as standing hay: diet
selection, rumen fermentation and partial
digestibility by sheep. African Jour. of
Range and Forage Sci. 26(2): 69-74.
Volesky, J.D., W.H. Schacht, P.E. Reece,
and T.J. Vaughn, 2007. Diet Composition
of Cattle Grazing Sandhills Range During
Spring, Rangeland Ecol. Manage., 60: 65-
70.
Yayneshet, T., L. O. Eik and S.R. Moe,
2008. Influences of fallow age and season
on the foraging behavior and diet
selection pattern of goats (Capra hircus
L.), Small Ruminant Research, 77: 25-37.