Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Yak


Photograph of white Yak near the Na village of Dolakha.

Yak is the most wonderful, multipurpose, domesticated strong animals found in the Himalaya areas of Nepal. Many yaks can be found in high altitude ranges of Dolakha district. Yaks are well adapted to the cold harsh climate conditions of the high altitude ranges and well integrated with socio cultural life of the people living there. Yak husbandry is one of the important and indispensable aspects of the Sherpa's life in the high altitude rangelands of Nepal. Currently, about 56,488 yak and yak-cattle hybrids are present in Nepal and are distributed in the highlands of the 14 northern districts. Yak population in Nepal is declining (about 200 thousand yak and hybrids in 1961) at an alarming rate due to lower economic benefits derived from yak husbandry. In addition, the more educated youth of the Sherpa community is unwilling to remain in traditional yak husbandry because of more lucrative opportunities in the trekking industry. Yak is one of a few domesticated animals that can survive in a cold and low oxygen environment that result in a low input feeding system. They have strong limbs, small solid hooves with hard edges and a narrow hoof fork that make them ideal for carrying heavy loads to supply both local and tourism demands in the rugged and snowy terrains of the Himalayas. As there is no suitable substitute animal for carrying such loads, yak and its hybrids remain an indispensable part of the trekking industry above 2500 meters above sea level.

Source: http://ndm.org.np/ndm2008/pdf/documents/Document343.pdf

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