Press Release from the Australian Rangeland Society

International Year of Rangelands, Pastoralists … and Passion

October 17, 2016 — The world’s cattle, sheep, goats, yaks, and camels all have one thing in common – the passionate people who raise them. They’re called pastoralists and they all use the same kind of country for the job, known as rangelands.

Rangelands mean grasslands and include savannas, shrublands, deserts, tundra and alpine communities, marshes, and meadows.

Pastoralists are the people who graze animals in agriculture. In Australia, pastoralists are also known as cattle and sheep farmers or graziers. Pastoralists and rangelands are intimately tied and pastoralists around the world depend on livestock for their income and sustenance.

Pastoralists rely on their livestock for food as well as income and around the world they share the same passion for their animals and the amazing natural countryside where they live.

The Australian Rangeland Society is working with groups around the world to create an International Year of Rangelands and Pastoralists.

Outback rangelands in Australia include deserts with spectacular scenery and rare wildlife, vast open grasslands, semi-arid woodlands and shrublands, major natural tourist destinations such as Uluru, remote outback beaches and small towns with thriving communities.

These lands are important for livestock production, habitat for wildlife, soil and water conservation, recreation, and conservation of biological diversity.

Pastoralists lead a lifestyle that oversees and nurtures these open spaces of our world.

And Australians are at the forefront of providing practical aid, assistance, and knowledge to improve the lives of pastoralists in developing nations, drawing on experience from our own rangelands—the Outback.

The Australian Rangeland Society is joining more than 50 other countries calling for United Nations support of an International Year of Rangelands and Pastoralists.

We call on Government at all levels in Australia to acknowledge the value of pastoralists throughout the world.


  • Dr Dana Kelly (0418 745 889,, President of the International Rangelands Continuing Committee

Visit the global Rangelands Partnership at and the Australian Rangeland Society at