The interaction between livestock and biodiversity is complex

Biodiversity can refer to genetic diversity, species diversity, and ecosystem diversity. Biodiversity is important in many services to humanity, and biodiverse systems tend to be more resilient to change. There is evidence that rearing livestock contributes to a reduction in biodiversity, for instance through environmental degradation, competition and over-exploitation of natural resources. However, there are also examples of livestock production systems supporting the maintenance of ecologically valuable landscapes and associated species.

Header photo: Goat in West Bengal rice field. Mann (ILRI) (source)