The University of Arizona

Range condition, tenure, management, and bio-physical relationships in Sonora, Mexico.

J.A. Coronado-Quintana, M.P. McClaran


The objective of this study was to describe the relationship among range condition scores, tenure system, management practices and bio-physical variables for 107 communal ejido ranches and 373 private ranches in Sonora, Mexico. The data was obtained from assessments of range condition and recommended carrying capacity for individual ranch units that were completed between 1973 and 1993 by the Comision Tecnica para la Determinacion de Coeficientes de Agostadero. Variables measured were range condition, land tenure (communal ejido or private ranch), management characteristics (human density, livestock stocking rate, ranch size, and infrastructure condition), and bio-physical characteristics (rangeland site quality and precipitation in the year of assessment). We used a combination of simple, univariate chi-square analyses and more complex, multi-variate ordered logistic regression analyses to assess the relationships among these variables. There was no evidence from the logistic regression analysis that range condition of ranches in Sonora was related to the ejido or private tenure systems. Infrastructure condition was different between the 2 tenure systems, and infrastructure condition was positively related to range condition for both ejido and private ranches. Based on the univariate and multivariate analyses, precipitation amounts in the year of assessment was less for private ranches, and range condition on private ranches was more sensitive to precipitation than ejido ranches. Compared to estimates made in the 1960's and 1970's in other parts of Mexico, we found there to be less of a difference in stocking rate between the more lightly stocked private ranches and more heavily stocked ejido ranches, and generally good condition infrastructure on all ranches. The important relationship between precipitation and range condition implies that range condition assessments should be done over many years to produce estimates of trend that can be compared across wet and dry years.



private ownership;human population;private farms;common lands;infrastructure;coownership;farm size;carrying capacity;land ownership;ranching;range condition;Mexico;rain;stocking rate;grazing intensity;range management

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