This study has been conducted in the framework of the following research projects: Procesos y Balances de Sedimentos a Diferentes Escalas Espaciales en Ambientes Mediterráneos: Efectos de las Fluctuaciones Climáticas y de los Cambios de Uso del Suelo (cgl2006–11619/hid), and Análisis de Escenarios de Riesgo a Escala Nacional y Global (cgl2008–01083/cli), both financed by the Research and Development National Scheme (Plan Nacional de I+D). It has also received support from the Programa de Grupos de Investigación Consolidados, financed by the Government of Aragon.
RESTORATION OF SHEEP TRANSHUMANCE IN THE EBRO VALLEY, ARAGON, SPAIN*
Article first published online: 20 DEC 2011
© 2011 by the American Geographical Society of New York
Volume 101, Issue 4, pages 556–575, October 2011
How to Cite
O'FLANAGAN, P., MARTÍNEZ, T. L. and ERREA ABAD, M. P. (2011), RESTORATION OF SHEEP TRANSHUMANCE IN THE EBRO VALLEY, ARAGON, SPAIN. Geographical Review, 101: 556–575. doi: 10.1111/j.1931-0846.2011.00117.x
- Issue published online: 20 DEC 2011
- Article first published online: 20 DEC 2011
- Common Agricultural Policy;
- livestock systems;
- sheep transhumance;
For centuries, sheep transhumance has connected the Spanish highlands with the lowlands, creating a livestock system with important social, economic, cultural, and landscape effects. About 5 million sheep were involved in transhumant movements in the mid-1700s, but transhumance started to decay in the nineteenth century and almost disappeared in the 1970s and 1980s. In the 1980s, transhumant sheep did not number more than 25,000 in the study area; at present the number exceeds 134,000, with herders practicing both descending and ascending transhumance. In this article we provide information not only on current numbers of transhumant sheep but also on the origins and destinations of the flocks. We also confirm that the reputation of transhumance, once regarded as quaint and antiquated, has been enhanced by the ecosystem services it provides and by the cultural and heritage continuities it renders.