Youth Perspective: Saving Macedonia’s water buffaloes from extinction and providing sustainable livelihoods

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Youth Perspective: Saving Macedonia’s water buffaloes from extinction and providing sustainable livelihoods

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Thursday, July 25, 2013 - 2:30pm

CAMPAIGN: Youth Perspective

CONTENT: Article

By Simona Zeroska, 20 years old 

Only 50 years ago, there were 30,000 Water Buffaloes in the Republic of Macedonia. Today, only a handful remains, and these are only alive thanks mainly to the efforts of the people of Debreshte village.

Debreshte is a small village near Prilep, located in the northern Pelagonia plain in Southern Macedonia. It is a place where time has stood still in many respects, save one. In the past, almost all of the households were buffalo breeders, relying on the milk of the animals for their livelihoods. Down the years, however, they were gradually replaced by cows in many parts of the country.

In 2007, we discovered that the 13 female buffaloes living in our village, kept by one farmer, were pretty much the last in the country. With no male to mate with, these buffalo had not given birth in over three years, and so their milk production had halted. Without the milk, there is no point for breeders to keep the animals, meaning they were destined to be killed for meat.

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Keywords: Environment | Macedonia | Thomson Reuters | extinction | sustainability | water buffalo | youth perspective

CAMPAIGN: Youth Perspective

CONTENT: Article

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