The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and other collaborators have produced a new set of maps that will provide farmers in Africa and outside the continent detailed information on pigs, cattle, poultry and other livestock in the world today
The maps, published in research journal PloS ONE, depict livestock population down to a kilometre, showing distribution and density of these animals, ILRI stated.
Scientists who assembled the data aimed to provide a resource for researchers solving and analysing contemporary issues in livestock production and intensification, ILRI said.
Studies which are yet to be carried out following the publication of the maps will be critical in assessing the current and future role of livestock in different parts of the world, from the protein saturated wealthy nations to protein starved developing nations, the institute stated.
According to ILRI, the maps can be updated as new data becomes available and freely accessible through a Livestock Geo-Wiki, a site maintained by collaborators at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA).
Other collaborators in the development of the maps included the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the Environmental Research Group Oxford (ERGO), the University of Oxford and the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB).