Agricultural Research Council (ARC) Range & Forage Institute, PO Box 101, Grahamstown 6140 South Africa, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, PO Box 7700, Port Elizabeth South Africa
- Key words: rangelands, arid zone, animal production, South Africa
- Page(s) : 98-104
- Published in: 2006
We introduce the five rangeland types found in the arid and semiarid regions of South Africa, namely Arid Savanna, Arid Grassland, Nama-karoo, Succulent Karoo, and Thicket, and describe the important domestic herbivores associated with them. We continue by detailing the grazing management systems associated with the two major land tenure systems in the region, namely the freehold (commercial) and communal (subsistence). We briefly review production models for arid and semiarid regions, and using data from rainfall response surfaces, we provide a model of rangeland production. The arid and semiarid rangelands of South Africa present some unique challenges to range managers and graziers. In this article, we have highlighted but a few of these challenges, and in so doing have attempted to provide a refreshing view of the constraints to sustainable production of livestock.