Donkey is multipurpose livestock, being used for ages for work, food, recreation, hobby, sports, and other purposes but still, the very important role of this unique creature is hiding from the eyes of the majority of the people, that is its’ ecological role.
The Ecological Role of the donkey
The donkey consumes the woody vegetation of bushes, shrubs, and trees. They can consume and digest the dried and fallen parts of the flora in the dry season with the help of the strong and diverse gut microbiome. This specialized microbiome along with the nutrients rich manure makes a way to transfer to the soil through manure and helps in the enrichment of the soil and sustain the life of the soil microbiome. The soil microbiome provides nutrients to the rhizosphere of the plants and gives them the power to sustain and tolerate the droughts and high temperatures. This way, we have rich and fertile soil today. Though all herbivores play an important ecological role in ecosystem management the donkey is topping all.
We celebrated world donkey day on Twitter space
Though not many participants still there was a reasonable number of people. The main interest in donkeys was shown in Africa. Mitchell Mutumba, a Namibian farmer told that they use the donkey for the farm animals’ protection. The donkey if trained will never allow the predators to enter the farm. That is really a very new a strange fact for me. We started twitter space on 7th May and entered on 8th May during the space. A Kenyan colleague (twitter name; Son of Africa) told his camel story from Kenya and told that he has seen many carcasses of donkeys without skins. Some people kill donkeys for their skins as there is a demand for donkey skins. He told that the donkey is still a very important working animal in his country. The South African innovative farmer Gugulethu Mahlangu, a famous farmer, and journalist told that the donkey’s future as a working farm animal is minimized manifold in her country because of the use of modern technology. Some other participants made jokes about donkeys, which was very painful to me.
Dr.Yatuwa Jude, the District Veterinary Officer KWEEN district Eastern Uganda shared some information about the donkey in Uganda and shared very beautiful pictures of the donkey from his country.