Resources Himalaya Foundation and Environmental Graduates in Himalaya successfully organized our monthly talk program PYCF with Mr. Shyam Kumar Thapa, Conservation Officer at Central Office, National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) on February 4, 2022. He presented a talk on “Grazing Lawns in Sub-Tropical Region of Nepal.” With short welcoming note and introduction of guest speaker from the EGH coordinator, Ms. Srijana Sigdel, the platform was handed over to the speaker.
Mentioning the lack of research priority given to grasslands, Mr. Thapa compared it to other megaspecies and highlighted the importance of this research. Talking shortly about grasslands, its importance and ecology, the talk proceeded towards the grazing lawns in Nepal along with its implications for wild herbivores and tiger population. Giving an overview on the biomass and nutrient concentration, the talk mentioned that the grazing lawns of Bardiya National Park are profitable to herbivores as grasses have higher bulk density which enable higher intake rates per bite. Additionally, the forage in those grazing lawns comprised of a higher proportion of green leaf which ensures each bite contains higher rates of energy gain. Though, the phosphorus levels in green leaves were found to be limiting, the crude protein levels in grasses were sufficient enough to meet the requirements of herbivores for maintenance and gestation but not for lactation. Besides, the talk also informed that primary productivity is found to be comparatively higher than in African savannas. With the conclusion that seasonality may have effect on the nutrient concentration in grasses and the short term effect of fire, the talk gave an insight for appropriate strategies that could be made for restoring grazing lawns with quality forage. The need of systematic management to form and maintain the lawns, which ultimately will maintain tigers (Panthera tigris) as well as their prey-base is recommended. The presentation was followed by a discussion session and ended with a vote of thanks from Dr. Dinesh Neupane, Executive Director at RHF.