BO O K R E V I E W Open Access
Book review: Rangeland Ecology,
Management and Conservation Benefits
Squires, Victor R. (Editor)
(Environmental Research Advances)
Rangeland Ecology, Management and Conservation Benefits.
Nova Science Publishers, Inc., New York; 2015.
Hardcover, 201 pages; ISBN: 978-1-63482-504-7
Keywords: Rangeland ecology, Rangeland management, Conservation
There is often conflict in commercial/subsistence land
use and conservation in rangelands. This book endeavours
to build a bridge on this topic by presenting principles,
case studies and predictions across many rangeland types.
It addresses the critical relationships between technical ap-
proaches to rangeland management and their interaction
There is clear identification of the changing pressures on
rangelands - particularly the competing demands and
multiple land use.
The book is in three parts: (1) Rangeland Ecology:
The Underpinnings (chapters 1 to 3), (2) Rangeland
Management in Practice (chapters 4 to 7) and (3)
Capturing the Conservation Benefits of Better Rangeland
Management (chapters 8 to 10).
Chapter 1 highlights the importance of sustainability:
which ‘involves the complex interactions of biological,
physical and socio-economic factors and requires a com-
prehensive approach … in order to improve existing sys-
tems and develop new ones …’. It is noted that, while
‘sustainability’ can be defined in theory, its application is
more difficult. In this context, setting a goal for ‘more
adaptable and sustainable ways of living for the range-
land societies’ is proposed. This includes identifying par-
ticipants, policies and procedures which can contribute
to sustainability. Following this, the concepts of inter-
generational equity and land stewardship are discussed.
At the site level, the necessity of recognising the impact
of management on the interactions within ecosystems as
well as beyond their boundaries (‘off-site’) is paramount.
The significance of planning involving much more
than biology is profiled in chapter 2. There is criticism
of bureaucrats who consider that excessive grazing
pressure can be resolved by ‘technological fixes’. The
conclusions could be applied in principle to many
countries - they are based on the premise that too many
resources are used on treating symptoms of land degrad-
ation rather than on the underlying causes. In particular,
they highlight the need for secure land tenure and the
management of forage demand to supply.
The case study on landholders’ involvement in
management in China (chapter 3) supports the necessity
for integrating sound scientific knowledge with effective
administration systems. It is critical that all relevant
administration systems be involved and work closely to-
gether. Furthermore, the scientific approach must be
multi-disciplinary. The priority of both involving land-
holders and building their capacity is critical at all levels
of management. The capacity-building may involve
changing the mindsets to effect long-term sustainability.
Valuable technology is only useful when it is conducive
and supportive of good practice, i.e. contextualising
technology into the local production paradigm.
A key point highlights the value of a project which has
Integrated Ecosystem Management as an holistic approach
to address the linkages between ecosystem functions/
services and social, economic and production systems.
The University of Queensland, Gatton Campus, Gatton, QLD 4343, Australia
Pastoralism: Research, Policy
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Alchin Pastoralism: Research, Policy and Practice (2017) 7:21