Graze herbivores on pasture, instead of sustaining with artificial foods

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
  • Certainty
  • Harms

Study locations

Key messages

  • One study evaluated the effects of grazing mammalian herbivores on pasture, instead of sustaining with artificial foods. This study was in South Africa.



  • Reproductive success (1 study): A site comparison study in South Africa found that a population of roan antelope grazed on pasture had a higher population growth rate than populations provided solely with imported feed.


About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. A site comparison study in 1995 of five conservation areas on a range of veld habitats in South Africa (Dörgeloh et al. 1996) found that in a population of roan antelope Hippotragus equinus equinus grazed on pasture, the population growth rate was higher than in populations provided solely with imported feed. The rate of increase of the pasture-fed population was higher than that of four other populations that were not pasture-fed (data presented as mean exponential rates). Population sex ratios, calving rates, population sizes and densities were not correlated with rates of population increase. Five conservation areas (each <3,000 ha) were studied. Population data were obtained in winter 1995. At one site, antelopes were grazed on pasture and, in the dry season, fed ≥0.5 kg of supplementary food/day (lucerne, antelope cubes and mineral lick). At the other four sites, antelopes solely received the supplementary feed, in varying proportions.

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Littlewood, N.A., Rocha, R., Smith, R.K., Martin, P.A., Lockhart, S.L., Schoonover, R.F., Wilman, E., Bladon, A.J., Sainsbury, K.A., Pimm S. and Sutherland, W.J. (2020) Terrestrial Mammal Conservation: Global Evidence for the Effects of Interventions for terrestrial mammals excluding bats and primates. Synopses of Conservation Evidence Series. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Where has this evidence come from?

List of journals searched by synopsis

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Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

Terrestrial Mammal Conservation - Published 2020

Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

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