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  • Yak the lifeline of pastoral nomads in high altitudes of the Indian Himalayan region is facing the threat of gradually rising temperatures in the region.

The increasing trend of environmental temperature at high altitudes is resulting in heat stress during warmer months of the year. This is affecting the rhythms of physiological responses.

Yak is accustomed to very cold temperatures up to minus 40 degrees but finds it difficult when the temperature crosses 13 degrees. Yak can efficiently conserve its body heat during cold weather conditions and has minimal body mechanism to dissipate heat by way of sweating. This makes yak more susceptible to heat stress.

Yak rearing is an eco-friendly livelihood for nomads who migrate to higher altitudes during summer and return to lower altitudes at about 3000 meters above sea level during winters.

This ensures that their animals remain in almost same ambient temperature all through the year. It helps minimize heat stress. However this traditional migratory pattern is getting disturbed with changing weather trends.

Inputs from Dr Vijay Paul, principal scientist at the ICAR-National Research Centre on Yak (NRCY), Dirang.
  • Yak the lifeline of pastoral nomads in high altitudes of the Indian Himalayan region is facing the threat of gradually rising temperatures in the region.

    The increasing trend of environmental temperature at high altitudes is resulting in heat stress during warmer months of the year. This is affecting the rhythms of physiological responses.

    Yak is accustomed to very cold temperatures up to minus 40 degrees but finds it difficult when the temperature crosses 13 degrees. Yak can efficiently conserve its body heat during cold weather conditions and has minimal body mechanism to dissipate heat by way of sweating. This makes yak more susceptible to heat stress.

    Yak rearing is an eco-friendly livelihood for nomads who migrate to higher altitudes during summer and return to lower altitudes at about 3000 meters above sea level during winters.

    This ensures that their animals remain in almost same ambient temperature all through the year. It helps minimize heat stress. However this traditional migratory pattern is getting disturbed with changing weather trends.

    Inputs from Dr Vijay Paul, principal scientist at the ICAR-National Research Centre on Yak (NRCY), Dirang.
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