Manzano & Casas 2010 Pastoralism (Practical Action).pdf (305.38 kB)

Past, present and future of Trashumancia in Spain: nomadism in a developed country

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journal contribution
posted on 2020-05-07, 00:07 authored by Pablo ManzanoPablo Manzano, Raquel Casas
Spain presents exceptional ecological conditions for mobile pastoralism. Its semiarid climate and its geography combine large biomass production in different places of the country at different times of the year. This creates an ecological rationale for the migration of large herbivores that was continued after the domestication of ruminants. Mobile livestock herding in Spain, known as transhumance, has been especially related to sheep husbandry and fi ne wool production and has been very important in the country’s past. In spite of a decline in mobile pastoralism from the
19th century onwards, its traces are still clear in Spanish legislation as well as in Spanish animal husbandry practices.
But what are the reasons for this past importance? Why has mobile pastoralism declined and why, nevertheless, has it survived? In this paper we analyse the causes for its existence and for its past importance in Spain, and we describe the decline experienced in the two last centuries and present the present situation of transhumance and its future prospects.


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