Overgrazing: What is it?

One of the risks associated with arid and semi-arid grazing systems in particular, is land degradation as a result of overgrazing. Overgrazing can be defined as the practice of grazing too many livestock for too long a period on land unable to recover its vegetation, or of grazing ruminants on land not suitable for grazing as a result of certain physical parameters such as its slope. Overgrazing exceeds the carrying capacity of a pasture. However there may be other factors involved or contributing to apparent overgrazing such as climate change. Overgrazing often results in soil erosion, the destruction of vegetation, and other problems related to these processes.

For further discussion of overgrazing see Excessive Grazing and Browsing

[Livestock & Environment Toolbox Home]