Between 2011 and 2013, ‘StoreOnBoard’ collars from the former GPS PLUS series were used to investigate spatial and temporal characteristics of the extensive livestock husbandry system in rural areas of southwestern Madagascar. The study was part of the SuLaMa project (Sustainable Land Management in southwestern Madagascar http://www.sulama.de) funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
For this research, individual animals from 12 cattle and 12 goat herds that were equally distributed across four villages within the area’s coastal zone and inland limestone plateau were fitted with GPS tracking collars and their behavior during pasturing was directly observed to identify seasonal variations in land use and movement patterns along the regional altitude and vegetation gradient. In a side study, the collars were also attached to sheep in order to analyze differences in grazing behavior and herd management of small ruminants (i.e. goats and sheep) in that region. Monitoring and herd tracking thereby occurred at regular intervals of two months over a two-year period to capture inter annual variability.