Die Bodenkultur - Journal for Land Management, Food and Environment

W. Holzner and M. Kriechbaum:

Pastures in South and Central Tibet (China)

II. Probable Causes of Pasture Degradation


The possible causes of pastureland degradation and the extent to which they may be connected with catastrophes suffered in recent winters are discussed. Although the causes are complex and varied, changes in the pastoral system play a crucial role. The pika problem is discussed in detail, because pikas are blamed for pasture degradation in many areas and extermination programs have been carried out. However, the occurrence of pika in great numbers is not the cause, but rather the effect of pastureland degradation. Cutting of turf and peat creates the most serious impact on pastureland – not in terms of expansion but finality. In the last chapter the basic rules of HAPIE (High Altitude Pasture Integrative Ecology) are outlined.

Key Words: High Altitude Pastures, Integrative Ecology, Degradation, Pika, Tibetan Plateau.