Peruvian Llamas are helping revitalize land
A recent study in Peru, written about on ScienceNews.com by Saima Iqbal, found that llamas helped revitalize barren land left behind by melting glaciers. Researchers, in partnership with local farmers, allowed llamas to graze on designated plots from 2019 to 2022. Over this period, the soil improved, became richer in nutrients, and supported 57% more plant cover than before in pervious farming. The practice of camelid herding, like ancestral Andean traditions, may help local communities adapt to climate change impacts and prevent soil contamination from glacial runoff. This unique approach surprised researchers with its effectiveness, showing how herbivore grazing can positively impact farming landscapes and ecosystems. The study suggests that llama herding could play a crucial role in mitigating the effects of vanishing glaciers in the Cordillera Blanca mountains of Peru, benefiting both the environment and local communities.