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Linda Olsvig-Whittaker
Eliezer Frankenberg
Avi Perevolotsky
Eugene D. Ungar

This review of land use in the Negev, from the perspective of rangeland and nature conservation, challenges the prevalent concept that Bedouin pastoralism has a purely negative impact on the conservation of the semidesert landscape in the Negev. We review more than a century of rangeland research in the Negev and compare it with current research results. We discuss the general conservation status of the Negev, including current pastoral customs and the reintroduction of native herbivores, and our general assessment is that although development poses a real threat to conservation of the Negev, the current level of pastoralism is not likely to result in loss of plant species. It is more likely that the decline of pastoralism with changing Bedouin practices will result in shrub invasion and loss of plant species.

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Grazing, overgrazing and conservation: Changing concepts and practices in the Negev rangelands
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Linda Olsvig-Whittaker
Eliezer Frankenberg
Avi Perevolotsky
Eugene D. Ungar

Grazing, overgrazing and conservation: Changing concepts and practices in the Negev rangelands

This review of land use in the Negev, from the perspective of rangeland and nature conservation, challenges the prevalent concept that Bedouin pastoralism has a purely negative impact on the conservation of the semidesert landscape in the Negev. We review more than a century of rangeland research in the Negev and compare it with current research results. We discuss the general conservation status of the Negev, including current pastoral customs and the reintroduction of native herbivores, and our general assessment is that although development poses a real threat to conservation of the Negev, the current level of pastoralism is not likely to result in loss of plant species. It is more likely that the decline of pastoralism with changing Bedouin practices will result in shrub invasion and loss of plant species.

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