Alexander Truelove, Astrid Santiago, John Andreoni, Lillian Kline, Wyatt Klipa
The process of silvopasture integrates livestock and forestry, and benefits biodiversity and local farmers. This sustainable farming technique produces cattle more efficiently and supports habitat for biodiversity, alternative food sources for cattle, and income diversification to buffer against economic windfalls and severe drought. In Nicaragua’s Rivas Isthmus, unique biodiversity exists. This team successfully completed fieldwork in the summer of 2016, collecting three types of biodiversity data: a) behavioral studies of birds in isolated trees, b) health characterizations through temperature and weight of existing cattle, and c) interviews with local farmers about land use and tenure.
Moving forward, the team seeks to further analyze this data helps to draw connections between cattle health, farmer attitudes, and the conservation value of the practice of silvopastoralism. Ultimately, this data will be used to help create a decision based tool for project partner Paso Pacifico to use with Nicaraguan farmers and submit policy recommendations to the Nicaraguan government. Project efforts will compliment pastoral productivity conservation efforts, address biodiversity and benefit hardworking farmers of the local community.