Published online by Cambridge University Press: 24 August 2009
Nomadic migration of cattle in the middle Niger valley is an age-old traditional method of raising cattle by pastoralism. However, this method of free-grazing of animals has been observed to affect some of the ecological balances of the savanna ecobiome. These ecological effects include denudation of the soil through excessive and repeated trampling by cattle on permanent routes, destruction of vegetational structure through uncontrolled burning and tree-lopping by pastorallists, dissemination of animal diseases due to long-distance trekking and unrestricted movement of cattle, and other social problems such as conflict with farmers when animals infiltrate into arable farmlands.
With increasing use of the limited land-resources for other human activities, the need to create grazing reserves and provide infrastructures to reduce the widespread movement of cattle is recommended. This will improve the productivity of cattle and check any unfavourable ecological repercussions resulting from their unrestricted movement.