Conservation Evidence strives to be as useful to conservationists as possible. Please take our survey to help the team improve our resource.

Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Matching type of livestock to desired biodiversity outcomes in pastures - a review

Published source details

Rook A.J., Dumont B., Isselstein J., Osoro K., WallisDeVries M.F., Parente G. & Mills J. (2004) Matching type of livestock to desired biodiversity outcomes in pastures - a review. Biological Conservation, 119, 137-150

This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Use traditional breeds of livestock Farmland Conservation

A 2004 literature review (Rook et al. 2004) found 11 studies that compared the feeding behaviour of different sheep or cattle breeds in fairly controlled conditions. Only one study monitored the effects on vegetation. This UK study (Newborn et al. 1993, later reported as Newborn 2000) found that Hebridean sheep caused more of a decline in purple moor grass Molinia caerula than Swaledale sheep, when this plant was growing with heather Calluna vulgaris. On the basis of findings from all eleven studies, the authors concluded that the different breeds of livestock have only minor differences in their feeding behaviour and these differences are mostly due to body size.

Additional references:

Newborn D., Wakeham A. & Booth F. (1993) Grazing and the control of purple moor grass. Game Conservancy Council Review.