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Research article2022Peer reviewedOpen access

Relevance of the production system for the sustainability of conservation and breeding programs for the Creole cattle in Pasorapa, Bolivia

Bottani-Claros, Gabriela; Jonas, Elisabeth; Strandberg, Erling


Local livestock breeds play an important role in the food security of smallholders in developing countries in the Global South. They are also a reservoir of potentially valuable genes for adaptation of global animal genetic resources. The Creole cattle population from Pasorapa, Bolivia, is threatened by effects of climate change and unplanned crossbreeding. The aim of this study was to assess the current situation in this population and to evaluate factors to be considered before implementing conservation and genetic improvement programs in order to achieve the sustainable development goals 1, 2, 13 and 15, which refer to no poverty, zero hunger, climate change and life on land, respectively. We examined and analyzed the most important elements related to the production system and farmers' perceptions that could affect the design of such programs. Open-ended and closed-ended questionnaires and interviews were performed with 81 smallholders from 11 communities in Pasorapa. A rearing system based on two stages and animals feeding mainly on native plants during both, involves a strong interaction between the environment and the production system. A survey of farmers' perceptions about diseases, mortality causes, and selection criteria revealed that farmers in Pasorapa consider coat color an important trait when selecting breeding and replacement animals. Half of all interviewees perceived an association between coat color and traits such as temperament, milk yield, and beef production. In a SWOT analysis we discussed the vulnerability of the system to climate change impacts and the contribution of this traditional system to rural mitigation. Overall, this work revealed the importance of this local ecotype and identified key factors to consider when developing breeding and conservation programs.


Creole cattle; Global South; Climate change; Sustainability

Published in

Discover Sustainability
2022, Volume: 3, number: 1, article number: 19