Measuring rangeland health with a transcect

Sustainable Rangelands Initiative

Programs

In northern Tanzania, 92 percent of available wildlife habitat consists of places where people and wildlife interact. Conservation solutions must be community-driven and responsive to changing conditions.

The Sustainable Rangelands Initiative works to keep these critical areas open and flourishing for the long-term benefit of rural communities and wild animals.

Improving Rangeland Health

Through regular data collection, assessment, information sharing, and active management, volunteer rangeland monitors – selected in conjunction with local leaders – use a mobile-based reporting system to provide updates on pasture quality to their community networks. The project is generating visible results, including increased grass height, reduced areas of bare ground, and the return of important plant and wildlife species to community-managed grazing areas.

How the Sustainable Rangelands Initiative Works

Step One

Each participating community receives comprehensive training from APW staff in sustainable rangeland management.

Rangelands program training event

Step Two

A team of community volunteer rangeland monitors allocates plots in local pastures for assessment.

Group assessing rangeland health in Tanzania

Step Three

The team gathers data such as grass height, the percentage of bare ground, and presence of invasive plant species.

Measuring grass with a ruler

Step Four

The team transmits the rangeland data to the community grazing committee via a mobile-based reporting system.

Erika Piñeros/APW
Reporting rangelands data in a mobile phone

Step Five

The grazing committee meets with the local government to decide where and when community members can graze their livestock.

Rangelands meeting presentation

Step Six

Critical habitats regenerate, leading to the return of important plant and wildlife species.

Open rangelands and pasture in Northern Tanzania

Pastures that used to be bare now have grass growing. We also have transport assistance that allows us to monitor and manage areas that were difficult to reach before.

Yohana Lesirkon, Grazing Committee Member

Related

Impact Stories

Meet some of the people whose lives have been changed through our community partnerships.

Woman holding honeycomb

Natural Resource Stewardship

We empower communities to use and manage grasslands and water sources sustainably.

Maasai man holding measuring tape over grasslands

Wildlife Conservation and Coexistence

We reduce human-wildlife conflict, involve local people in conservation, and increase tolerance for coexistence.

Giraffe walking across the open savanna