Sheep pastoralism in southern Karnataka


  • NAVEEN KUMAR G S Veterinary College, Hassan, Bengaluru, Karnataka 573 202 India
  • VANI A Veterinary College, Hassan, Bengaluru, Karnataka 573 202 India
  • BASAVARAJ INAMDAR Veterinary College, Hassan, Bengaluru, Karnataka 573 202 India


Karnataka, Kuruba, Migratory paths, Pastoralism, Sira sheep


Present study was conducted to understand and document the migratory system followed, socio-economic status, management and healthcare practices adopted by pastoralists of southern Karnataka. In-person interview method with a structured questionnaire was used for collecting data from 25 shepherd groups on migration. Migration starts during December and continues for 6–8 months covering around 200 km. The breed is locally called Tumkur or Sira sheep which is not yet recognized as a separate breed. Migratory flock usually contains 1,000 to 1,200 sheep, 50 goats, 10 donkeys and 2–4 dogs. The average adult male to female ratio is 1 : 22. Sale of lambs and penning rental are the main sources of income. Sheep pastoralism is an established and effective way of utilizing the excess green cover in transient regions by the sheep from pasture deficient dry zones. Maintaining the social and community pasture and forest lands at their home place will be a benefit during the lean and non-migratory periods. Assessing the migratory paths, fodder and water resource and penning demand by the farmers on migratory tract will help policy makers to provide suitable interventions to curtail the problems of pastoralists. The traditional knowledge of shepherds should be documentedand validated for larger use. The pastoralists need to be educated and trained about the use of digital finance management, herd diversification, health management and government schemes to increase their profitability and standard of living.


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How to Cite

G S, N. K., A, V., & INAMDAR, B. (2022). Sheep pastoralism in southern Karnataka. The Indian Journal of Animal Sciences, 92(3). Retrieved from