Exclude or remove livestock from historically grazed freshwater swamps
Overall effectiveness category No evidence found (no assessment)
Number of studies: 0
Background information and definitions
This action involves completely excluding or completely removing livestock from marshes or swamps that have been negatively impacted by livestock grazing – whether deliberate or accidental. This may be implemented at a large scale (e.g. removing livestock from an entire farm) or at a small scale (e.g. tethering cattle to keep them off sensitive vegetation patches).
Domestic livestock can directly consume vegetation, destroy vegetation by trampling, create bare patches of ground (e.g. repeatedly used tracks), affect water infiltration and flows by compacting soils, affect nutrient balance through excretion of waste products, and import seeds of undesirable plants (Morris & Reich 2013). Removing livestock can allow grazing-sensitive species to recover. The effects might depend on site conditions such as productivity (determined by soil moisture and nutrient levels; Berney et al. 2014).
Related actions: Use barriers to keep livestock off ungrazed freshwater swamps; Reduce intensity of livestock grazing, without completely removing livestock; Use grazing to maintain or restore disturbance; Use grazing to control problematic plants; Exclude wild vertebrates; Modify livestock farming practices in watershed; Use fences or barriers to protect planted areas.
Berney P.J., Wilson G.G., Ryder D.S., Whalley R.D.B., Duggin J. & McCosker R. (2014) Divergent responses to long-term grazing exclusion among three plant communities in a flood pulsing wetland in eastern Australia. Pacific Conservation Biology, 20, 237–251.
Morris K. & Reich P. (2013) Understanding the Relationship Between Livestock Grazing and Wetland Condition. Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, Technical Report Series No. 252.