High Altitude Pastoral Systems of Pakistan

High Altitude Alpine Pastures are located between 3,000 m. elevation in the northern and north-western parts of the country. pastures are situated in the region where famous mountain ranges namely; Himalayas, Hindukus and Karakorum meet. Due to these mountain ranges different and varied climatic zones have seen.The important climatic zones, are temperate, sub tropical humid and subtropical sub humid.but because of their low productivity they are susceptible to overgrazing. Though these alpine pasture are unavailable for grazing in winter months yet these are over grazed through repeated seasonal grazing during summer months.These alpine pastures are a sources of water supply to the river systems through snow melt during dry period of April-July every year. over grazing may cause the changes in water supply during the critical period.these grazing lands are important for eco-tourism due to their landforms and greenery.The constraints include environmental, managerial, socioeconomic and financial factors.

Managment Problems

Some of the major constraints are as under:

Geo-physical Factors

It include high altitudes, slopes, shallowand unfertilized soils, low precipitation and cold temperatures are unconducivc to good growth of the range vegetation.such adverse factors the scientific management may have low success. exposed rocks, deposition of rock debris and accelerated soil erosion are other factors. These factors are most severe in area which are narrow, side slopes and high elevation ranges.
vegetation is distributed in patches, generally thes are less palatable.Due to the lack of effective policy’ no scientific management is being carried out. basic information are less and we do not know the present status. information about forage production, carryingcapacity, stocking rates etc. is. Overall there is shortage of trained managers in the country .Similarly all the graziers lack knowledge of proper pasture use. and grazing practices

Socio-economic problem

million of families, are transhumant, depend on rangelands of Pakistan for their subsistence livelihood. However, the pastoralist families number depending upon high altitude pasture is unknown. Since these pastoralist are poor and land less so they move their livestock from lower to higher (Summer grazing area) and viceversa.In. This situation also cause overuse and miss-use of the pastures.

Financial problem

Policy makers and planners hesitate to invest money’ on pasture improvement. Similarlyowners, are also hesitating to put money on pasture. Due to these factors the alpine pasture are being ignored.

Specific Problems

The specific `problems of the high altitude pasture systems are as under:
a. Faulty land tenural system.
b. Non existence of policy, rules and management.
c. less knowledge of the users
d.. low quality range vegetation
e. Low market prices for livestock


1.classification of high altitude grazing areas.
2.Maintenance of the stocking rate
3.proper range policy and establishment of competent authority
4 Improvement in land tenurial system.
5 separate transport systems for livestock to winter and summer grazing areas.
6 Providing adequate veterinary services.
7. awareness among users and owners of the high altitude pastures
8. Integration of pastures and farm lands for fodder production and their products.

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