The Rangeland Journal The Rangeland Journal Society
Rangeland ecology and management
RESEARCH ARTICLE

The yak grazing system on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau and its status

R. J. Long A B D , L. M. Ding A C , Z. H. Shang B and X. H. Guo A C
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A International Centre for Tibetan Plateau Ecosystem Management, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730020, Gansu, China.

B Grassland and Yak Research Centre, College of Pastoral Agriculture Science and Technology, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730020, Gansu, China.

C Key Laboratory of Arid and Grassland Ecology, Ministry of Education, School of Life Science, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, Gansu, China.

D Corresponding author. Email: longrj@lzu.edu.cn

The Rangeland Journal 30(2) 241-246 https://doi.org/10.1071/RJ08012
Submitted: 14 March 2008  Accepted: 24 April 2008   Published: 3 June 2008

Abstract

Yaks are a multifunctional and dominant livestock species on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau. The yak grazing system is a traditional transhumance system. Research is focussed on both understanding and improving the system. Development of local economies and the use of new knowledge from yak research and modern technology are improving the system. However, the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau ecosystem is becoming dysfunctional through adverse climate sequences, over-population and over-grazing. The Chinese Government has implemented regional projects to address these degradation problems. Several policies have recently been introduced to improve yak grazing management. This paper reviews current knowledge on the system and the options for improving and optimising the system.

Additional keywords: alpine, degradation, education, grasslands, rangelands.


Acknowledgements

We thank two anonymous reviewers and Ronald Hacker whose comments on an earlier draft improved the paper. The editorial assistance of Kenneth Hodgkinson is appreciated.


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