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Author (up) Berger, J., Buuveibaatar, B., Mishra, C. url  openurl
  Title Globalization of the Cashmere Market and the Decline of Large Mammals in Central Asia Type Journal Article
  Year Publication Conservation Biology Abbreviated Journal  
  Volume 27 Issue 4 Pages 679-689  
  Keywords fashion, herders, India, Mongolia, saiga, trade  
  Abstract As drivers of terrestrial ecosystems, humans have replaced large carnivores in most areas, and

human influence not only exerts striking ecological pressures on biodiversity at local scales but also has

indirect effects in distant corners of the world. We suggest that the multibillion dollar cashmere industry

creates economic motivations that link western fashion preferences for cashmere to land use in Central

Asia. This penchant for stylish clothing, in turn, encourages herders to increase livestock production which

affects persistence of over 6 endangered large mammals in these remote, arid ecosystems. We hypothesized

that global trade in cashmere has strong negative effects on native large mammals of deserts and grassland

where cashmere-producing goats are raised. We used time series data, ecological snapshots of the biomass

of native and domestic ungulates, and ecologically and behaviorally based fieldwork to test our hypothesis.

In Mongolia increases in domestic goat production were associated with a 3-fold increase in local profits for

herders coexisting with endangered saiga (Saiga tatarica). That increasing domestic grazing pressure carries

fitness consequences was inferred on the basis of an approximately 4-fold difference in juvenile recruitment among blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur) in trans-Himalayan India. Across 7 study areas in Mongolia, India, and China’s Tibetan Plateau, native ungulate biomass is now <5% that of domestic species. Such trends suggest ecosystem degradation and decreased capacity for the persistence of native species, including at least 8 Asian endemic species: saiga, chiru (Pantholops hodgsoni), Bactrian camel (Camelus bactrianus), snow leopard (Panthera uncia), khulan (Equus hemionus), kiang (E. kiang), takhi (E. przewalski), and wild yak (Bos mutus). Our results suggest striking yet indirect and unintended actions that link trophic-level effects to markets induced by the trade for cashmere.
 
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  Notes Approved no  
  Call Number SLN @ rakhee @ Serial 1398  
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