Author: K Singh, Phd

North Bengal University, Siliguri.

Name(s) of Guide:  Dr. R.C. Sundriyal, Dr. Eklabya Sharma.

Year of submission 2000.

Paper Abstract: The Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve (KBR), with a total area of 1784 sq km in core and 825.92 sq km in buffer zone is a representative of Eastern Himalayan region due to its unique habitats, exhilarating thick forests, rich flora & fauna, and famous mountain ranges including those of massive Khangchendzonga. Livestock are important source of local economy and more than one million rupee are generated from this sector from pack animals, milk and milk products and wool and wool products. A study on grazing impact on plant diversity and productivity was undertaken in KBR area to understand the vegetation composition, animal rearing pattern along the trekking corridor and its economic utility; analyze the impact of grazing on plant structure, species richness, diversity, and biomass, productivity and nutrient dynamics; and carrying capacity at selected locations at four different vegetation zones. Grazing though has an impact on plant species richness, biomass and productivity, the grazing levels is well within the carrying capacity of the grasslands barring a few places that are extensively grazed. However, there is an increasing trend of rearing more number of animals for meeting economic needs that will certainly add to the grazing pressure in near future. It is highly desirable that the villages and other nearby areas should be planted with more fodder species, and community should be motivated for raising good quality animals to reduce pressure on KBR. At the same time the villagers should also be involved in decision-making for developing the grazing regulation and other management plans for the KBR area.

Source: K Singh, Phd, North Bengal University, Siliguri