Effects of pasture tree cover on cattle behaviour in a small-scale farming system in Rivas, Nicaragua
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- Master's theses (INA) 
Abstract Rapid population growth and poverty with the resulting over-exploitation of land, threatens to further degrade land in rural areas of Nicaragua. Silvopastoral systems combine woody perennials and pastoralism and holds great promise for an increase in the sustainability of farming practises in these areas. This study investigated the effect of pasture tree cover with respect to different aspects of cattle behaviour, in two separate areas in Rivas, Nicaragua. Cattle behaviour was recorded in 15 different paddocks belonging to 7 different farmers using the instantaneous scan sampling technique. Canopy cover was found to have significant positive effects on energy conserving behaviours (ruminating and standing), while having a significant negative effect on high-activity behaviours (grazing and walking). Canopy cover had no significant effect on the level of resting. Some indications were found that there might be a social aspect affecting several of the behaviours. Canopy cover interacted significantly with several of the independent variables altering their effects on a given behaviour, with various degrees of canopy cover.