Pastoral Strategies as related to Community Characteristics: The Case of the Syrian Badia
This paper presents an up-to-date characterization of the behavioural patterns of Bedouin communities’ in the steppe of Syria, in order to enhance an understanding of how rangelands are collectively used. Analysis was conducted from a community perspective as pastoral resources are exploited collectively. Based on survey data collected from 359 households and 50 Badiah communities in spring 2005, the main strategies prevailing today were identified and explained in a second step using the agro-ecological conditions and socio-economic factors in the communities. The results show a great diversity of mobility and feeding patterns as well as interconnections with other communities. This diversity is strongly explained by the community’s land potential (which decreases as we move towards the dryer zones) and population densities – both indicators defining the average amount of forage resource available for a herder in his community.