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the seasonal movement of human groups in search of pastures; for example, the movement from dry season to wet season pastures undertaken by the Nuer. See also PASTORALISM, NOMADS, HERDING SOCIETY.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the seasonal movement of animals between pastures that are located far from residential and production centers. The animals are pastured year-round or for the greater part of the year. Sheep, horses, camels, and yaks are best adapted to transhumance. In many regions cattle are also kept on seasonal pastures.

The principal regions of transhumance in the USSR are Kazakhstan, Middle Asia, Transcaucasia, and the Northern Caucasus, as well as southeastern regions of the European RSFSR and of Western and Eastern Siberia. A nomadic system, in which land cultivation and systematic stock raising were nonexistent, formerly prevailed in many of these regions. When kolkhozes and sovkhozes were first organized, livestock usually was both pastured and stabled. With the growth of herds, farms were no longer able to supply sufficient feed from their own land.

In 1942 the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolshevik) and of the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR passed the resolution On Measures for the Care of Offspring and Increase in Livestock Herds on Kolkhozes and Sovkhozes, which set forth a program for the organization of transhumant animal raising. From 1945 to 1973, many old pastures were irrigated and improved, and many new pastures were created. Mechanized stock-raising stations and brigades to help farms prepare reserves of fodder and mechanize water lifting and other labor-intensive processes have been set up on the distant pastures. Many farms have irrigated areas for growing fodder plants. An evaluation of pastures (to assess their natural characteristics and farming capacity), pasture rotation, and enclosed pasturing have been introduced.

The entire camel and yak population, more than 50 percent of the sheep and goat population, 25 percent of the cattle population, and a large number of horses are concentrated in the desert, semidesert, steppe, and mountain regions of the USSR. In the spring, summer, and autumn, all the livestock in these regions are pastured. In the winter 30–35 million head are pastured. Light-weight structures made of local materials, sheds, and windbreaks are built to shelter the animals during bad weather. Permanent dwellings or portable cottages or yurts are provided for the herdsmen. Farm and interfarm cultural centers are being established in many regions.

The economic merit of transhumant stock raising has been proved. The net cost of the animal products is decreased significantly because expenditures for feed, maintenance, and labor are minimal. Considerable areas of arable land on the farms are freed for the development of other branches of agriculture.

A year-round pasturing system is used in several countries, including Australia, Mongolia, Afghanistan, Argentina, Brazil, and New Zealand. In Australia, about 170 million sheep and about 18 million cattle are pastured year-round. In Mongolia more than 22 million head of livestock are kept in pastures throughout the year.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Similarly, three distinct trekking routes are described in the transhumant system in Baluchistan province of Pakistan, where the Balochi and Brahui tribes are predominantly transhumant pastoralists using the three ancient trekking routes for transhumance (Akhtar et al.
Transhumant, car le concept du [beaucoup moins que]Sete SEis Sete Luas[beaucoup plus grand que] est unique en son genre.
The economy of the Estrela Mountain has long been famous for the herding of sheep and goats according to a vertical transhumant regime, with highland pastures exploited in the summer and lowland plains and valleys during the winter months.
Consequently, the youth have incentives to remain in the area where they engage in herding and transhumant livestock movements.
The nomadic, transhumant and sedentary production systems of keeping SR are common in the country (Ishaque, 1993).
Three major camel production systems are found in Pakistan which are nomadic, transhumant and sedentary.
In fact, contacts between sheep parasites and companion dogs are likely to occur because even though Milan with its territory is highly urbanized rural areas crossed by transhumant flocks from the PreAlpine areas are still present.
He pointed out that transhumant livestock have a major share in the livestock production and has been a neglected sector.
The Brahuis are traditionally transhumant pastoralists who move with their flocks from the hills in summer to the plains of Sind (or elsewhere) in winter, and back again.
Trade with neighboring areas replaces previous transhumant practices, suggesting changes to the local social organization either engendered by increasing interaction or causing itself a demand for nonlocal ritual goods.
Among Palawan groups of southern Mongoloid phenotype the Tau't Batu have an ecological adaptation that uses a seasonal pattern of transhumant migration within the Singnapan basin, a sinkhole of 176 hectares on the western side of an extinct volcano (Peralta 1979).