Caribou migration linked to climate cycles and insect pests

Caribou, the North American cousin of reindeer, migrate farther than any terrestrial animal. They can cover thousands of miles as they move between winter feeding grounds and summer calving grounds. But many caribou herds ...

Time ticks away at wild bison genetic diversity

Evidence is mounting that wild North American bison are gradually shedding their genetic diversity across many of the isolated herds overseen by the U.S. government, weakening future resilience against disease and climate ...

Mongolian mining boom threatens traditional herding

Exploring the vastness of Gobi Desert in the 13th century, Marco Polo proclaimed it to be filled with "extraordinary illusions." Today, Oyu Tolgoi, one of the world's largest copper-gold mines, rises among Mongolia's traditional ...

Livestock disease risk tied to herd management style

A new study provides an updated picture of the prevalence of the sheep and goat plague virus (PPRV), a widespread and often fatal disease that threatens 80 percent of the world's sheep and goats, in northern Tanzania.

Ancient DNA is revealing the origins of livestock herding in Africa

Visitors to East Africa are often amazed by massive herds of cattle with a gorgeous array of horn, hump and coat patterns. Pastoralism—a way of life centered around herding—is a central part of many Africans' identity. ...

Germany relaxes rules on wolf culls

The German government on Wednesday relaxed rules on culling wolves, as the population of the predator has grown since its return to the country two decades ago.

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Herd

Herd refers to a social grouping of certain animals of the same species, either wild or domestic, and also to the form of collective animal behavior associated with this (referred to as herding) or as a verb, to herd, to its control by another species such as humans or dogs.

The term herd is generally applied to mammals, and most particularly to the grazing ungulates that classically display this behaviour. Different terms are used for similar groupings in other species; in the case of birds, for example, the word is flocking, but flock may also be used, in certain instances, for mammals, particularly sheep or goats. A group of quail is often referred to as a covey. Large groups of carnivores are usually called packs, and in nature a herd is classically subject to predation from pack hunters.

Special collective nouns may be used for particular taxa (for example a flock of geese, if not in flight, is sometimes called a gaggle) but for theoretical discussions of behavioural ecology, the generic term herd can be used for all such kinds of assemblage.[citation needed]

The word herd, as a noun, can also refer to one who controls, possesses and has care for such groups of animals when they are domesticated. Examples of herds in this sense include shepherds (who tend to sheep), goatherds (who tend to goats), cowherds (who tend cattle), and others.

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