Pyrenean pastoralists'observations of environmental change: An exploratory study in los Valles Occidentales of Aragón

María E. Fernández-Giménez, Federico Fillat
2012 Pirineos: Revista de Ecología de Montaña  
Observations of environmental change by local resource users may be an important source of information about past and current environmental conditions to complement scientific studies and monitoring. In this exploratory, qualitative study, we documented observations of environmental change made by 27 stockmen in the two westernmost valleys of the Central Western Pyrenees of Spain. Pastoralists reported changes in weather, corresponding declines in the flow of mountain springs, and an increase
more » ... , and an increase in shrub and tree cover in the mountains. Explanations for the increase in woody plant cover differed in the two valleys; however, the majority of stockmen from both villages believed that the lack of human presence in the mountains contributes to shrub encroachment. Stockmen's observations of environmental change suggest additional research needs regarding climate and vegetation change in the Pyrenees, and highlight the potential contributions of Pyrenean pastoralists' local knowledge to environmental monitoring, research and management.
doi:10.3989/pirineos.2012.167007 fatcat:txjeafcsjrcejnhcbcaw3ojhie