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What Works in Conservation 2020

William J. Sutherland
Lynn V. Dicks
Silviu O. Petrovan
et al.

5. Forest conservation

5.2 Threat: Agriculture

Texte intégral

5.2.1 Livestock farming

Likely to be beneficial

Use wire fences within grazing areas to exclude livestock from specific forest sections

1Three of four studies, including one replicated, randomized, controlled study in Kenya, Israel, Mexico and Panama found that excluding livestock using wire fences increased the size, density or number of regenerating trees. One study found no effect on tree size and decreased tree density. Four of eight studies, including two replicated, randomized, controlled studies across the world found that excluding livestock using increased biomass, species richness, density or cover of understory plants. Four studies found mixed or no effects on understory plants. Assessment: likely to be beneficial (effectiveness 58 %; certainty 63 %; harms 18 %).


Trade-off between benefit and harms

Prevent livestock grazing in forests

3One site comparison study in Israel found that preventing cattle grazing increased the density of seedlings and saplings. Two of three studies, including one replicated, controlled study, in Brazil, Costa Rica and the UK found that preventing livestock grazing increased survival, species richness or diversity of understory plants. One study found mixed effects. Assessment: trade-offs between benefits and harms (effectiveness 69 %; certainty 45 %; harms 20 %).


Unknown effectiveness (limited evidence)

Reduce the intensity of livestock grazing in forests

5Two studies, including one replicated, randomized, controlled study, in the UK and Greece found that reducing grazing intensity increased the number of tree saplings or understory total weight. Assessment: unknown effectiveness (effectiveness 78 %; certainty 34 %; harms 0 %).


Shorten livestock grazing period or control grazing season in forests

7One of two studies, including one replicated, controlled study, in Spain and Australia found that shortening the grazing period increased the abundance and size of regenerating trees. One found no effect native plant species richness. One replicated study in the UK found that numbers of tree seedlings were higher following summer compared to winter grazing. Assessment: unknown effectiveness (effectiveness 58 %; certainty 33 %; harms 0 %).


No evidence found (no assessment)

9We have captured no evidence for the following interventions:

  • Provide financial incentives not to graze.

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