International Centre for the Advancement of Pastoral Systems, 69086 Allen Canyon Road, Wallowa, Oregon, 97885, USA, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, 20036, USA, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service, Forage and Range Research Lab, Utah State University, Logan, Utah 84322-6300, USA
- Key words: rangelands, desert, steppe, Tibet, Central Asia, animal production, pastoralism, animal husbandry
- Page(s) : 142-51
- Published in: 2006
The rangelands of the Tibetan steppe cover an extensive area of Asia, which is comprised of a diversity of cold deserts, semiarid steppes, shrublands, alpine steppes, and moist alpine meadows. The climate of these rangelands is strongly continental, and most of the steppe is arid to semiarid. The Tibetan steppe is the source of many of the major rivers of Asia, and has a rich flora and fauna with many endemic species. This unique region has been traditionally used for transhumant grazing by yak, sheep, and goats. During the last 50 years, management of these rangelands has undergone major shifts from feudalism to collectivism to privatisation of livestock with individual grazing rights. Characteristics of the Tibetan steppe are described and discussed in relation to these management changes with emphasis on impacts on the land resources and herders’ livelihoods.