John Libbey Eurotext

Science et changements planétaires / Sécheresse


Arid rangelands in the Cholistan Desert (Pakistan) Volume 17, issue 1, Janvier-Juin 2006


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National Herbarium Programme, National Agricultural Research Council (NARC), Islamabad, Pakistan, Cholistan Institute of Desert Studies, Islamia University, Bahawalpur, Pakistan
  • Key words: desert, desertization, pastoralism, rangelands, Pakistan
  • Page(s) : 210-7
  • Published in: 2006

The Cholistan Desert, once a prosperous, lively, and thriving jungle is now by and large a desolated piece of land. Its productivity potential is on the decline despite the fact that the number of animals in this desert is on the increase. This sandy desert is situated in the southern part of Punjab (Pakistan) with highly saline soils and a brackish subsoil aquifer. It supports a human population of 110,000 pastoral nomads depending exclusively upon livestock for their livelihood. Life sustainability in this desert revolves round annual precipitation. The summer in the desert is extremely harsh and punishing. Some xeric plant species do survive during severe droughts but undergo tremendous grazing pressure leading to partial eradication; as result, the flora and fauna have been thinning out gradually with the increasing severity of desertization. The paper highlights the range livestock production in the Cholistan Desert.