Summer time season in Changtang © WCS/Tsering Paldron
It’s summer time in Changtang, the most amazing season around the Tibetan plateau. Rain has covered in eco-friendly the vast grassland once more, and pastel-colored mountain tops now decorate the horizon. This is our prime season for human wild yak conflict because it is even the mating season for Tibetan wild yaks. The potential risks of inter-breeding with domestic yaks run full of this year and it is a significant supply of concern for herders and conservationists.
In August, the Wildlife Conservation Society – with support from Save Our Species – has visited the Garco community for that third time over this project period. The most crucial purpose of our project continues to be achieved in this trip: we’ve signed cooperation contracts with local yak herders for applying minimization solutions for that existing conflict between wildlife and human activities.
Whenever we showed up, all herdsmen were gathering for that local horse racing festival, which is among the greatest festivals in Changtang. The festival lasted four days featuring folk dances, horse races, along with other traditional activities.
Signature from the contracts © WCS/Tsering Paldron
After thorough discussions using the municipality and community of Garco, we been successful in signing a contract valid for 2 years restricting herding teams from grazing within an area densely populated by wild yaks. During 2013 and 2014, between This summer and September (the yak mating season), roughly 510 domestic yaks (2012 census) is going to be grazed southwest of Garco Village, roughly 20km from the usual summer time pasture close to 50 km2 near Xiyaer Mountain. This really is likely to lessen the overlap between domestic and wild yaks within an area the size of 300km2 lived on by roughly 400-500 wild yaks. During our previous field visits, we observed 268 wild yaks in this region, including two large female groups with calves (151 and 90 individuals correspondingly).
A lonely wild yak © WCS/Wan Zhikang
Through this innovative agreement we’ll reduce the appearance of mating between wild and domestic yaks, thus further lowering the chance of interbreeding, as well as help wild yaks reclaim additional servings of their original habitat. To be able to measure the effectiveness and impact of the approach WCS continuously carefully monitor nature yak population and assess the amount of conflict with human communities as well as interbreeding with domestic yaks.
“This project isn’t just great for wild yaks, additionally, it good for anyone.” Lausanne Dorje – mind of Garco village – while explaining the WCS initiative to local herdsmen. This agreement continues to be arrived at after intense negotiations, where the work team has liaised with the 45 families locally, detailing the reason and advantages of this conservation project, and collecting their remarks. The first resistance of herders towards our initiative stemmed in the historic hate towards wild yaks, considered a plague for his or her business. After gaining support from community leaders and demonstrating concrete actions in support for that community development, we convinced five from the twelve yak herding teams to simply accept our suggested group of incentives and invest in collaborate around, and three and to relocate their grazing lands.
Domestic Yak herding and milking activities © WCS/Lianghai Tang
Another primary element of WCS&rsquo holistic approach towards wild yak conservation is positively promoting the sustainable growth and development of local Tibetan communities. We feel that encouraging the diversification of livelihoods is a vital way of enhancing project sustainability, and may lessen the pressure on wild habitats brought on by growing animals figures.
According to discussions with occupants and government departments, WCS has agreed with local partners to take a position $16,400 (RMB 100,000) for establishing a small factory, a grocery, as well as an electricity generator. The factory will be employed to process Tsampa (Tibetan traditional staple food items) for local consumption through the community, and buying and selling from the surplus, or no. WCS will give you the factory premises as well as an electric generator, as the Garco community will buy the machinery and necessary food processing equipment.
WCS strategically provides incentives to local neighborhoods to diversify their livelihoods and escape from herding activities to be able to ease pressure on wild yak&rsquos habitat. The performance data WCS will collect throughout the 2 yrs of the present pilot project period is going to be instrumental for informing future conservation tricks of government government bodies in Changtang.
We feel that the development of buffer zones and exclusive pasture areas for wild yaks may significantly enhance the potency of the present conservation plan. At the moment, despite wild yaks are legally shielded from poaching, and herder communities take advantage of financial compensation of losses brought on by their interference, still competition for quality pastures and interbreeding because of traditional herding practices still hinder wild yak conservation.
Will Tibetan wild yaks see their original habitat restored? We can’t answer without a doubt yet, but we’ll certainly still work at this goal with this passion and also the financial support from Save Our Species.
Compiled by: Zhao Xiaoyan (赵晓艳)
Edited by: Ramacandra Wong