Grazing and Wildlife Diversity: U.S. and India: How similar are the issues! I have been reading Lynn Jacobs “Waste of the West” which provides a very detailed and convincing critique of ranching in the U.S. West. Then I read an article by Abhishek Ghoshal concerning the Snow Leopard: Ecology and Conservation Issues in India and I was struck by the many similarities in the ecological issues in these two very different countries. Jacobs, as I have discussed in a previous post below, shows how wasteful ranching is in the U.S. West with its arid climate and how ranching consumes great resources in terms of water and forage that otherwise would support a diverse and rich habitat that used to support rich biodiversity. Ghoshal shows on snow leopards are being threatened despite the fact that they live in remote areas of the Indian Himalayas. Areas that used to be good habitat for the leopards are now being affected by “agro-pastoralism,” “market-driven agriculture,” human population growth, and “excessive livestock grazing.” Development with road construction is opening up formerly “remote…undisturbed areas” and the consequence is the new inhabitants do not have a “traditional tolerance” for the snow leopard. A side effect of the development is more garbage which has support the rise of a large feral dog population which also is depriving the leopard of its traditional prey. As in the U.S. West, the growing livestock grazing is having harmful effects—it to is characterized by “low productivity” and has resulted in deteriorated pasture quality “through lowered…biomass and plant cover” that have resulted in the “displacement of wild prey….” There has been a rise in tourism related to viewing of the snow leopard but the author says that the impact of roads and other infrastructure “improvements” are reducing and fragmenting habitat outweighing any positive effects. Check out the article at: http://www.ias.ac.in/article/fulltext/reso/022/07/0677-0690
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During my research for the book, I noticed that there was no blog available for sharing informaton on wildlife conservation and thus I set up this blog to accomplish this purpose. Please share any informaticoncerning issues related to wildife policy and politics. I welcome feedback from users concerning this blog and website.