iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Goat grazing as a wildfire prevention tool: a basic review

Raffella Lovreglio (1)   , Ouahiba Meddour-Sahar (2), Vittorio Leone (3)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 7, Issue 4, Pages 260-268 (2014)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1112-007
Published: Mar 26, 2014 - Copyright © 2014 SISEF

Technical Notes

Fuel treatments aimed at reducing both horizontal and vertical continuity in fuels are of paramount importance as a prevention measure against fire propagation. Possible techniques include pruning, thinning (mainly low thinning), mastication, prescribed burning, and prescribed (or targeted) grazing. Their main target is crown fire avoidance by treating surface fuels and promoting low density and vertically discontinuous stands, thus eliminating fuel ladders. Grazing is an effective, nearly carbon-neutral weed control technique which is cost-effective, nontoxic, and nonpolluting. Goat grazing is a very interesting solution: if confined by a metallic or electrified fence within a restricted pen, with a rather high density, goats browse the available foliage and twigs from all woody plants as well as all herbaceous vegetation. They can feed on a variety of shrubs, some of which are useless for other domestic species, and are therefore the best adapted for the consumption of all the Mediterranean shrubs which represent the fuel ladder. The appropriate choice of season of grazing, type of plant species and type and amount of biomass to be eliminated, livestock density, social structure of the herd, grazing time per day, type of fencing, and size of pens define the prescribed grazing system.


Fire Prevention, Fuel Treatment, Goat, Grazing, Prevention, Prescribed Grazing, Targeted Grazing

Authors’ address

Raffella Lovreglio
Department of Agriculture, University of Sassari, v. Cristoforo Colombo 1, I-08100 Nuoro (Italy)
Ouahiba Meddour-Sahar
Department of Agricultural Sciences, University Mouloud Mammeri, Box 17 RP, 15000 Tizi Ouzou (Algeria)
Vittorio Leone
Department of Crop Systems, Forestry and Environmental Sciences, University of Basilicata, viale dell’ Ateneo Lucano 10, I-85100 Potenza (Italy)

Corresponding author

Raffella Lovreglio


Lovreglio R, Meddour-Sahar O, Leone V (2014). Goat grazing as a wildfire prevention tool: a basic review. iForest 7: 260-268. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1112-007

Academic Editor

Raffaele Lafortezza

Paper history

Received: Aug 25, 2013
Accepted: Nov 18, 2013

First online: Mar 26, 2014
Publication Date: Aug 01, 2014
Publication Time: 4.27 months

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