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Title: Transhumance Pastoralism in the Deosai Plateau : Social, Economic and Ecological Conflicts
Author: Akhlas, M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2690 4999
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2009
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This study evaluates diet overlap between Himalayan brown bear and livestock, requirement and competition for forage resources and livestock impacts on habitat suitability for brown bear, economics of the grazing systems and opportunity cost of exclusion and conflicts between pastoralists and Himalayan brown bear. Research questions were tested between resident grazed buffer, nomad grazed buffer, nomad grazed core and ungrazed core. The study area comprised the Deosai National Park (hereafter referred to as the DNP, 2,950 krrr'), the contiguous Sadpara Wildlife Sanctuary (SWS, 300 km2) to the northeast, and the unprotected Chota Deosai (400 km2) to the south (Fig. 1; chapter 1). For the conservation of the Himalayan brown bear, the DNP is divided into strictly protected core zone where any pastoral activities are prohibited, surrounded by buffer zone grazed by resident and nomadic communities. However, nomadic pastoralists encroach upon the protected core and managed to maintain camps. The observed stocking density was greater in resident grazed buffer, followed by nomad grazed core. Resident pastoralists maintained higher stocking rates than the optimum stocking density suggesting their will to maximize income. Among all the grazing categories, off-take was significantly greater in resident grazed buffer. Livestock density was higher in resident grazed buffer than nomad grazed buffer and core. All the vegetation parameters studied showed impact of livestock grazing. Mean sward volume, species diversity (richness, equitability and Simpson's index) were significantly lowest in resident grazed territories. Total percent cover of grass and herb species was higher in ungrazed territories and lower in resident grazed buffer. Sward volume of the vegetation suggested impacts were similar between different grazing regimes. Buffer valleys grazed by residents experienced intense grazing pressure amounting to 90 % of potential biomass production, while buffer and illegally grazed core valleys used by nomads experienced lower but nevertheless substantial rates of biomass removal (40 - 50 %). Dietary overlap was very high between brown bear and each livestock class (Pianka's Index ranged 0.932 - 0.995) as well as among the different classes of livestock (0.891 - 0.983). Accumulated biomass and sward height (within exclosures) was greater in core areas than in the grazed buffer, suggesting that pastoralism has reduced sward productivity and .volume in grazed territories. Costs of livestock predation were less than US$ 973 (± 444 SD) yr") borne disproportionately by nomadic pastoralists, with those grazing within the strictly protected core were particularly vulnerable. Livestock predation, restricted access and crop raiding were the issues of conflicts pastoralist and brown bear. Estimated livestock production value was higher in the resident grazed buffer (35.6 US$ ha") than for nomads in the core (34.5 US$ ha") or buffer (17.4 US$ ha"). Total opportunity cost (2006 and 2007) under complete exclusion of livestock from. DNP scenario is expected to be 1,256,114 and 1,209,805 (US$) for nomads and resident communities respectively.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available