Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook
The first cattle were brought to Nicaragua by the Spanish in the 1500s, and livestock raising was a mainstay of the early colony. Drier areas on the western slopes of the central highlands were ideal for cattle raising, and by the mid-1700s, a wealthy elite, whose income was based on livestock raising, controlled Le�n, Nicaragua's colonial capital. In the late 1900s, as was true in the late 1500s, cattle raising has been concentrated in the areas east of Lago de Managua. Most beef animals are improved zebu strains. Smaller herds of dairy cattle- -mostly Jersey, Guernsey, or Holstein breeds--are found near population centers. From 1979 to 1989, the total number of cattle dropped by a third because of widespread smuggling to Honduras and Costa Rica and illegal slaughter of the animals for sale of meat on the black market.
Data as of December 1993
NOTE: The information regarding Nicaragua on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Nicaragua Livestock information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Nicaragua Livestock should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.