On the hoof in Patagonia
It's spring in the Neuquén Province of Argentinean Patagonia, and a goat herder drives his animals to the summer rangelands high in the mountains. It's a route his ancestors have taken since the goats were introduced by Spanish settlers in the 17th century. But this traditional transhumant system is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain in modern-day Argentina, threatening the survival of the goats and the families that depend on them.
Neuquén Criollo goats are not a formally-recognised breed in Argentina, but their owners, the crianceros, know them well: the hardy animals have consistently provided generations of crianceros and their families with high quality meat. Able to graze comfortably at 2,500m above sea level, walk long distances, withstand the bitterly cold winters in the lowlands and semi-arid summers in the highlands, the 300,000-or-so Neuquén Criollos have adapted well to life in Patagonia.
Read more at New Agriculturist
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