John Libbey Eurotext

Science et changements planétaires / Sécheresse

The rangelands of the Arabian Peninsula Volume 17, issue 1, Janvier-Juin 2006

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82 Coronation Road, Baulkam Hills, NSW 2153 Australia, 327, rue A.L. De Jussieu, 34090 Montpellier
  • Key words: Arabia, desert, animal husbandry, wildlife, rangelands, parklands
  • Page(s) : 179-94
  • Published in: 2006

The Arabian peninsula covers an area of some 3 million km 2, to a large part desertic traversed by nomadic pastoralists, now settled or on their way to settling. Elevation varies from sea level to nearly 3,800 m asl in North Yemen. In spite of the overall aridity and high temperatures, climates are contrasted as a function of elevation and continentality. The flora includes over 3,400 species of vascular plants, and the vegetation offers many types as a function of climate and substrate. Primary production averages an order of magnitude of 80 kg DM/ha/yr largely depending on annual plants. Stocking rates vary greatly from less than 10 to over 40 sheep-equivalents per km 2. The stocking rate is ca 43 million sheep-equivalent and the human stock ratio is 0.8 SE/person. Some 170,000 km 2 of game reserves, of regional and national parks, have been established since the 1970s, especially in Saudi Arabia, where native species have been successfully reintroduced and the environment restored.