John Libbey Eurotext

Science et changements planétaires / Sécheresse

Range and animal production in the arid lands of Australia Volume 17, issue 1, Janvier-Juin 2006

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PO Box 31, Magill 5072, Adelaide Australia
  • Key words: rangelands, Australia, livestock, grazing, arid and semiarid zone
  • Page(s) : 295-308
  • Published in: 2006

Australia is a large island continent (7.7x10 6 km 2) that extends over about 30° of latitude from a point at 11° below the equator to 39° S and across 40° of longitude (113° E to 153° E). The arid and semiarid regions occupy nearly 6 million square kilometres, of which nearly two thirds carry domestic stock for commercial grazing. Domestic grazing animal numbers in this vast region account for less than 13% of total sheep and 25% of total cattle numbers in Australia. Animal densities are very low throughout, but range from extremely low (0.5 stock unit/km 2) in the less fertile western half of the continent, to low (1-2 cattle units/km 2) in the more fertile eastern rangelands. Rangelands and the grazing systems are briefly described and the influence of climate on type and intensity of grazing is examined.