Journal of Arid Land


A short visit to the Bayanbuluk Grassland in the Tianshan Mountains, Xinjiang, PRC, revealed a number of environmental and livestock production problems, including grassland degradation, loss of grassland biodiversity, soil erosion and flash flooding downstream, decreased pasture productivity, and poor livestock nutrition (especially in winter) leading to stock losses and flocks and herds of low productivity. This paper describes those problems and then suggests some solutions. Short duration, high intensity grazing could be one of the solutions to both improving grassland condition and im-proving livestock nutrition. Local production of fodder crops for feeding in winter and spring deserves testing, using adapted strains of Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) and trialling fodder root crop production. It is important to realise that the land management objectives of scientists, administrators, herders and farmers may be similar, and that there are opportunities for land improvement through working to-gether.


Bayanbuluk Grasslands; Tianshan Mountains; reversing grassland degradation; improving livestock productivity

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