Natural ecosystems, for example, East African savannas, can be subjected to major migrations of large herbivores that annually move long distances, following the seasonal changes in rainfall and consequential grass growth. Most natural ecosystems are less subjected to migrations, but, for example, in Northern forests at least migratory birds occur seasonally.

In agroecosystems, migration is usually kept to a minimum. Measures are taken to keep large or small grazers out from the cropped field. In some regions, wild grazers are exterminated (or close to extinction - Western European agricultural regions) and in other regions crop fields are guarded or fenced. However, migration is a component in animal husbandry; cattle is often shifted between pastures, which are given time to recover. Nomadic herding of cattle (Sami people, Masai) is similar to the savanna migrations mentioned above; the cattle and herdsmen follow the annual cycles in grazing opportunities.

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