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Title: Traditional livelihood based on sheep grazing in the Khangchendzonga national park, Sikkim
Authors: Tambe, Sandeep
Rawat, GS
Keywords: Herding
Sustainable development
Eastern Himalaya
Participatory conservation
Traditional knowledge
Issue Date: Jan-2009
Publisher: CSIR
IPC CodeInt. Cl. ⁸: A01K, A01N3/00
Abstract: The Khangchendzonga National Park, located in Sikkim is a part of the Eastern Himalaya biodiversity hotspot. Traditional sheep herding practices in the park based on village consultations and field surveys to understand the population trend, migration pattern, fodder preferences, incomes and benefit sharing, ecological impacts and risk mitigation techniques were analysed. The study revealed that traditionally sheep in the greater Himalayas and sheep and yak in the trans-Himalaya have been grazed in the national park. However, over the last six decades, sheep population declined rapidly and has been increasingly replaced by the larger bodied livestock, yaks and horses. The shepherds traditionally performed long distance migration and timed their movement to match with seasonal fodder resource availability thus minimizing their grazing impacts. The flock size was small and the herders earned subsistence level of incomes from the sale of lambs and wool. The extant shepherd community possess immense traditional knowledge about the fodder resources, medicinal plants and wildlife. Nutrient analysis of the fodder plants was found to support the traditional wisdom of the shepherds. Recognition of their skills and making them partners in conservation by the park management has been proposed.
Page(s): 75-80
ISSN: 0972-5938
Source:IJTK Vol.08(1) [January 2009]

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