Gathering rangeland evidences


As part of assignment for ICIMOD’s Young Professional Programme, Kuenzang Tshering visited Toorsa Strict Nature Reserve (TSNR) under Kangchanjunga Landscape for primary data collection to study high altitude rangelands. 

The management plan for TSNR clearly mentions that many user groups have been exploiting limited rangeland resources leading to double grazing in both winter and summer pastures in rangelands of TSNR. However, there are limited scientific studies that provide clear evidences of the impacts on rangeland quality and soil nutrients. 

This study therefore attempted to collect the evidences of differences in rangeland quality and soil nutrient from sample sites under various grazing pressures. The main objective of the study was to assess various parameters related to plant communities in rangeland under different grazing pressures. Soil samples were also collected and analyzed at Soil and Plant Analytical Laboratory in Thimphu, Bhutan. 

To further bolster the evidences, household survey was conducted with the yak herders in Bji, Katsho, and Esu gewogs (blocks) under Haa Dzongkhag (district). Interviews with key informants were also conducted with Gup (head of gewog) of Eusu, livestock extension officers of Bji, Katsho, and Esu, and three elderly people from each of the three gewogs.  

Rangeland management practices in the study area were also documented during the field visit. The final outcome of the study will be presented as technical report and will also be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal.