ASIAN HIGHLANDS PERSPECTIVES Volume 18: Environmental Issues by Dbang 'dus sgrol ma, Dkon mchog dge legs, Mgon po tshe ring,

By Dbang 'dus sgrol ma, Dkon mchog dge legs, Mgon po tshe ring, and Dpal ldan chos dbyings (CK Stuart and G Roche eds; William Bleisch, Preface)

3 Tibetan groups in Yushu Tibetan independent Prefecture, and Rtswa chog group in Hainan Tibetan self sufficient Prefecture, Qinghai Province, PR China are studied when it comes to China's pastoral improvement regulations and their effect on neighborhood Tibetans.

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Locals consider Rheum spp. and Lamiophlomis rotata to be poisonous. Rheum spp. was observed in both Rtswa chog and Yul gyi nyi ma. It has a restricted and clumped distribution pattern; it had a very low density in both areas, particularly in Yul gyi nyi ma. Rheum spp. had a density of thirty-seven individuals per square meter in Rtswa chog compared to six individuals per square meter in Yul gyi nyi ma. This indicated a high degree of grassland degradation in Rtswa chog, as poisonous species are indicators of grassland degradation.

Rangeland privatization in Inner Mongolia resulted in similar consequences. " Traditionally, "livestock grazing on any one pasture was done temporarily so that vegetation could regenerate" (ibid:131). After privatization, intensified overgrazing has occurred on unfenced pasture and "pastoral people have always needed to move their animals regularly in response to the inevitable spatial and temporal patchiness of grassland resources" (ibid:66). " Furthermore, Wu and Richard (2006:7) note that "lack of mobility of the livestock has been identified as a key factor leading to the degradation of rangelands throughout many areas of central Asia" because overgrazing has occurred adjacent to settlements while remote summer pastures have been destocked.

Fodder from fenced pastures can also be fed to weak and sick animals during food scarcities beginning in December when much of the old grass has been eaten and new grass has not yet grown. This reduces mortality, as seen in Figure 7 below. Figure 7. Measurement of fencing impact (Du 2006:50). 10 Fencing has a clear, positive impact on vegetation in density, height, and quantity. 10%. Fencing not only increases fodder yield, but also allows faster and more complete recovery of vegetation. Rehabilitation of deteriorating pasture by fencing has a significant impact on the long-term sustainability of pasture.

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