Guidelines for the Enumeration of Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic (Transhumant) Livestock

In many developing countries, livestock production is one of the fastest growing components of agriculture and, as the economic development progresses, it is expected to become the largest contributor to the sector.

Given the importance of nomadic livestock in arid and semi-arid areas, the Global Strategy has developed the Guidelines for the Enumeration of Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic (Transhumant) Livestock.

The document provides practical guidelines to country statisticians. It aims to address the new awareness of the relative importance of livestock production and wealth generation that has arisen as well as the challenge to obtain reliable information on transient livestock populations wandering across extensive rangelands in search of seasonally available pasture.

New methods of assessing livestock resources and production parameters, and new tools that can be used for geo-referencing, recording and analysing data are also described.

In general, two types of surveys can be used to enumerate nomadic and transhumance livestock: (i) ground surveys and (ii) aerial/satellite surveys. Ground surveys are implemented in two main ways: by counting animals at enumeration points or by approaching ethic groups/clans leaders. Aerial surveys can be organized in two main ways: as total aerial counts or as sample counts, by using low-level aircrafts, drone and micro-drones, or satellite images.

The Guidelines were developed by several senior experts and are based on countries’ case studies. Valuable inputs were provided by the Global Strategy’s Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) members, the participants of the expert meeting that was held in Accra in July 2015 as well as the selected peer reviewers.