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Land Use/Cover Change analysis and its Implication on Livestock Feed Resource Availabilities in Southeastern Rangeland of Ethiopia
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  • Matiwos Habte,
  • Mitiku Eshetu,
  • Abiyot Legesse,
  • Melese Maryo,
  • Dereje Andualem
Matiwos Habte
Dilla University
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Mitiku Eshetu
Haramaya University
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Abiyot Legesse
Dilla University
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Melese Maryo
Ethiopian Biodiversity Institute
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Dereje Andualem
Dilla University
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Abstract

The objective of this study was to analyze the combined effects of climate and land use/cover changes on livestock feed resources and livestock species composition. The land use/cover data were generated from Landsat images of 1986, 1995, 2010 and 2018. The images were classified using a maximum likelihood classifier algorithm. The result from meteorological data and the land use/cover change were compared with household perception on livestock feed availability and livestock species composition. The result showed that the dominant land use/cover in the eco-region throughout the study period was bush/shrub cover followed by woody vegetation. This study revealed transition of land use/cover from grassland, woody and forest vegetation cover to bush/shrub and cropland in the study areas. The analysis of time series meteorological data showed significantly increasing patterns of temperature, and the highly variable nature of rainfall during 1986-2018. The pattern of livestock population throughout the analysis period exhibited a significantly increasing trend. The land use/cover, temperature and rainfall significantly affected livestock feed availability and quality. Over the last 32 years, potential grazing resources had been declined with a resultant increase in the proportion of bush/shrub feed resources available for livestock. The inter-annual variation of rainfall during the analysis period was 40.45%, which implies that the rangeland is in non-equilibrium dynamics. The rangelands carrying capacity was significantly decreased from 3.76 TLU/ha/year in 1986 to 1.74 TLU/ha/year in 2018. However, the stocking rate was increased from 1.8 TLU/ha/year in 1986 into 7.15 TLU/ha/year during 1986-2018. It is recommendable to choose camel and goat more likely than cattle and sheep raising with increasing temperature and decreasing pattern of rainfall. Hence, available feed resources and the probability of choosing livestock species vary with eco-region and land use/cover that indicates the need for site-specific feed and rangeland management scheme.