Document Type : Research Paper



Desertification refers to land degradation in arid, semi-arid, and dry sub-humid region. It is a global environmental problem with political and socio-economic consequences. Land degradation occurs as a result of impoverished vegetation cover that may lead to a progressive and irreversible reduction of the biological or economic productivity. Overgrazing may cause degradation of soil and vegetation. Degradation of vegetation and soil in dry lands, sometimes called desertification, is thought to be a serious threat to the sustainability of human habitation.  Therefore, the intensity of grazing can serve as an index of environmental pressure. The Miandehi region, located in the Northeast Iran, has been selected as a test area to assess livestock pressure. Present paper assessed the pressure of livestock within the studied area using GIS. FAO-UNEP model (1984) proposes the use of a ratio of potential carrying capacity to present livestock density as an estimate of pressure of livestock. This method has been adopted with some modifications for the present study. Therefore, maps of the hazard of pressure of livestock were prepared after overlying and calculating different parameters in GIS. According to the final map of pressure of livestock in Miandehi region, areas of no hazard, slight hazard, severe hazard and very severe hazard comprised respectively 21.3, 5.6, 9.8 and 63.3 % of the study area. Results showed that areas under very severe hazard dominate Miandehi (63.3 % of total land).


[1]        Amiri, E., Masoudi, M., Fallah Shamsi, S.R., and Taghvaei, M. (2008). Hazard evaluation of livestock Pressure on natural rangeland of Iran, International Pollution Research, 27 (4), 611 – 615. 
[2]        Arzani, H., Agdari,Gh. and Zare Chahoki. M.A. (2009). The efficiency assessment of mesh method for estimating the of production and the utilization of pasture, Journal of Rangeland, 78, 611-622.
[3]        Assar, Z. (2013). Desertification hazard assessment using model of LADA and GIS in Miyandehi Feizabad, Khorasan Razavi Province, M.Sc. Thesis, Shiraz University.
[4]        Azarnivand, H. and Zare Chahoki, M.A. (2008). The introduction of vegetation indices for assessing the severity of desertification (a case study: Eastern Esfahan), Journal of Forest and Range, 78, 15-22.
[5]        Chamanpira, Gh., Zehtabian, Gh. and Ahmadi, H. (2005). Application of ICD Method for Determining the Severity of Desertification in Koohdasht Watershed, Journal of Iranian Natural Res, 59(3), 543-555.
[6]        Ekhtesasi, M.R. and Sepehr, A. (2011). Methods and models to assess and prepare desertification maps, Yazd University press.
[7]        FAO/UNEP (1984). Provisional methodology for assessment and mapping of desertification, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, 84p.
[8]        Goudie, A.S. (1990). Techniques for desert reclamation, Chichester: John Wiley & Sons press.
[9]        Ibanez, J., Martınez,J. and Schnabe, S., (2007). Desertification due to overgrazing in a dynamic commercial livestock-grass-soil system, The ecological modeling, 205,277-288.
[10]    Khajedin, S.J. (2007). The process of desertification in Iran, Journal of Forest and Range, 74, 43-45.
[11]    Khosravi, A., Heshmati, Gh., Sepehri, A. and Azarnivand, H. (2008). The effect of grazing combined with drought in the process of desertification (a case study: (Zygophyllum eurypterum in Kerman Province), Journal of Forest and Range, 78, 79-83.
[12]    Makhdoom, M. (2001). Fundamental of land-use planning, Tehran University Press, Tehran; 289 P.
[13]    Masoudi, M., Gore, S.D., and Alavi Panah, S.K. (2005). A new methodology using GIS for assessing of livestock pressure in the Qareh Aghaj Sub Basin, Southern Iran, Nature, Environment and Pollution Technology, 4(4), 561-566.
[14]    Masoudi, M., and Asrari, E. (2006). A new model for assessing of livestock pressure: a case study- Southern Iran, Ecology Environment and conservation, 12(3), 391-398.
[15]    Masoudi, M., and Vahedi, M. (2014). Hazard assessment of livestock pressure in Fars province, Iran, Ecology Environment and Conservation, 20, 899-906.
[16]    Rasmy, M., Gad, A., Abdelsalam, H. and Siwailam, M.,(2010). A dynamic simulation model of desertification in Egypt, The Egyptian Journal of Remote Sensing and Space Sciences, 13, 101-111.
[17]    Zakerinejad, R., Masoudi, M., Afzali, F. and Falah R. (2012). Assessment of Desertification using ground water criteria and GIS (case study:Zarin Dasht Fars), Journal of Irrigation and Water, 3(7), 1-10.