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1. Aufsatz in Sammelwerk (SW)
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Adaptation Strategies to Counter Climate Change Impact on Sheep.
In Herausgeberwerk (Quelle):
SW Herausgeber(in):
SW Hauptsachtitel:
Sheep Production Adapting to Climate Change.
Seite (von-bis):
Climate change has proved to impose potential negative effects on species survival, ecosystems stability and sustainable livestock production around the globe. Among the various environmental factors, heat stress is well known for its harmful effects on livestock and related production losses. Sheep exposed to heat stress show lower body growth and hide quality and compromised reproductive functions in both males and females. Adapting to the changing climate requires appropriate manipulations in the production system by taking into account the positive effects and attempting to diminish the negative effects of climate change. The highly adapted indigenous breeds identified by marker-assisted selection can be used as an efficient tool for developing thermotolerant breeds through improved breeding programmes. Promotion of such breeds can improve production efficiency and may lead to fewer greenhouse gas emissions. Further, the local people, especially women, are good managers of natural resources and possess excellent skills to utilize the natural resources efficiently. Hence, occasional training and a participatory research approach into the roles of women assist the tackling of climate change in the rural areas. In addition, well-organized early warning systems avoid severe damage due to unexpected disasters by providing sufficient time to prepare effective responses. Development of skilled disease surveillance supported with effective health services may effectively control the spread of climate change-related diseases in sheep. Furthermore, the production system requires improved water resource management to provide sufficient water for sheep production in the arid and semi-arid regions. Cultivation of drought-tolerant fodder varieties in extremely hot areas is an efficient adaptive strategy to ensure sufficient supply of feed during scarcity periods. Finally, strengthening extension services and building awareness through capacity-building programmes helps the livestock keepers to improve their adaptive capacities against climate change. Adaptation strategies related to cold stress include advanced cold-tolerant breeding programmes, migration in extreme winter and adoption of proper cold management practices. According to the predictions by various international bodies, the consequences of climate change will be on the rise in the future. Hence, adequate cost-effective management strategies appear to be the immediate need of the hour for adapting sheep production systems to the changing climate.