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Title: Social-Ecological Change on the Mongolian Steppe: Herder Perceptions of Causes, Impacts, and Adaptive Strategies
Abstract Pastoral people in rangelands worldwide are experiencing uncertainty due to a combination of climatic, economic, and political stressors. Our study seeks to create a full view of the drivers, impacts, and adaptations to change for livestock herders in rural Mongolia, making use of herder traditional knowledge and select instrumental data. Interview respondents described undesirable trends in livestock herds, pasture, wildlife, and their livelihoods in three sites in northern, central, and eastern Mongolia from 1995 to 2015, including decreased lake levels. There was more agreement for precipitation trends than for temperature. We developed a systems model based on herder descriptions of the sequence and prominence of interacting drivers of change. Finally, we describe measures herders are taking to adapt to these changes, such as more frequent livestock movement. We present a transdisciplinary view of social-ecological change and applications for more regionally focused governance in an era of climate uncertainty.
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Human Ecology
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National Science Foundation
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