Modelling the Routes of Seasonal Transhumance Movement in North Neuquén (Patagonia)
D?ABRAMO, SERGIO L.; GONZALEZ, PAULA N.; PEREZ, S. IVAN; BERNAL, VALERIA
The human population dynamic in the North of Neuquén is characterized by well-documented seasonal transhumance movements,although the routes that connect lowland and upland areas as well as the factors influencing their selection remainlargely unknown. In this study, we compare movement routes between lowlands and upland pastures in Tromen massif asdescribed in interviews and participatory mapping with local herders with routes modelled by least cost paths (LCPs) onseveral cost surfaces based on Ensemble Distribution Modelling (EDM). Altitude and vegetation (cover and productivity)are two of the most important variables contributing to the potential for movement across the landscape. The LCPs calculatedusing the inverse of EDM surface ? which mainly represents the contribution of altitude, distance to permanent rivers,and vegetation ? display a good concordance with the ethnographic routes. Conversely, neither the LCPs estimated froma traditional multi-cost surface nor the LCPs based on each of three main variables separately predicted appropriately thelocation of the ethnographic routes. We showed that a modelling approach can contribute to a deeper understanding of thepractice of transhumance in North Neuquén.