Dr.Y.Bala Murali Krishna
Delhi,Feb 6(2013): World's many breeds of goat,which have been a
great source of rich pritein,priced wool besides milk for people in
the impoverished countries, are facing a serious threat of
and Mangolia where cashmere goats have been reared for genertions for
their wool, are no exception.
bell was sounded for the first time by researchers of the
Asturias(Spain) based Regional Service of Agro-Food Research and
Development(SERIDA) in their first monographic study tackling the
global impact of this species.
researchers presented their study “Goat grazing, its interactions
with other herbivores and biodiversity conservation issues" in
scientists had analysed the situation of the global goat
population,taking into account the state of different breeds, the
multiple implications of their conservation, the interaction with
other animal species (wild and domestic) and the consequences of goat
grazing from an environmental point of view.
risk of the gene pool of the goat disappearing has increased due to
intensive animal husbandry systems that use a very limited number of
breeds. Strangely enough, the biggest loss in the genetic resources
of indigenous animals has been observed in Europe, although the
situation is unknown in many areas," according to Rocío Rosa
García, researcher at SERIDA and coauthor of the study.
reputation given to goats stems from one of its main virtues: it has
an extraordinary capacity to adapt to the most difficult of
environmental conditions in places where other domestic livestock
species would not survive.
a reality that the grazing of these animals can cause damaging
effects on the environment but ecosystems become overloaded because
of inadequate practices of handling," say scientists.
number of goats can be found in the poorest of countries and
especially those which have difficult environmental conditions and
mountainous, desert and semi-desert regions, according to FAO.
poor regions, poor communities are commonplace and often the goat is
the only source of animal protein in their diet," explains Rosa
led by Koldo Osoro Otaduy, manager of the Animal Production Systems
Area at SERIDA, undertook a large part of the field work in areas in
which the role of the goat is very relevant and have certain
similarities with hostile environments in other parts of the world.
national and international projects have been carried out in
less-favoured areas, like the Asturian mountains which are home to
steep slopes, poor soil, an aging population and a high risk of
depopulation and abandonment of traditional activities," the
handling of grazing, which does not consider the livestock species
and their most fitting habitat, is the main cause of the damaging
effects that goats can cause on the environment,the study says.
growth of the cashmere goat to increase production of its prized
wool,had in some cases,ovefloaded the ecosystems. This has not only
affected vegetation but also certain indigenous species in India,
China and Mongolia.
otherhand, the study in some cases noted that the species plays an
important role in environmental conservation,as the goats have been
used in the fight against fires in areas dominated by bushes and in
controlling exotic vegetation plagues that could put ecosystems at
wanted to perform a global review, taking into account very different
regions of the world, from the Himalayan peaks to tropical areas, and
analysing to what extent the goat competes with local fauna in each
region and whether it interferes with the survival of the most
sensitive species," says Rosa García.//EOM//