A time-series approach to mapping livestock density using household survey data

Sci Rep. 2022 Aug 3;12(1):13310. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-16118-1.


More than one billion people rely on livestock for income, nutrition, and social cohesion, however livestock keeping can facilitate disease transmission and contribute to climate change. While data on the distribution of livestock have broad utility across a range of applications, efforts to map the distribution of livestock on a large scale are limited to the Gridded Livestock of the World (GLW) project. We present a complimentary effort to map the distribution of cattle and pigs in Malawi, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, and South Sudan. In contrast to GLW, which uses dasymmetric modeling applied to census data to produce time-stratified estimates of livestock counts and spatial density, our work uses complex survey data and distinct modeling methods to generate a time-series of livestock distribution, defining livestock density as the ratio of animals to humans. In addition to favorable cross-validation results and general agreement with national density estimates derived from external data on national human and livestock populations, our results demonstrate extremely good agreement with GLW-3 estimates, supporting the validity of both efforts. Our results furthermore offer a high-resolution time series result and employ a definition of density which is particularly well-suited to the study of livestock-origin zoonoses.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Humans
  • Income*
  • Livestock*
  • Research Design
  • Swine
  • Time Factors
  • Zoonoses