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Shrestha, R., & Wegge, P. (2008). Wild sheep and livestock in Nepal Trans-Himalaya: coexistence or competition? Environmental Conservation, 32(2), 125–136.
Abstract: Excessive grazing by livestock is claimed to displace wild ungulates in the Trans-Himalaya. This study compares the seasonal diets and habitat use of sympatric wild naur Pseudois nayaur and domestic goat Capra hircus, sheep Ovis aries and free-ranging yak Bos grunniens in north Nepal and analyses their overlap both within and across seasons. Alpinemeadow and the legumes Oxytropis and Chesneya were critical resources for all animal groups. High overlap occurred cross-seasonally when smallstock (sheep and goats) in summer used the spring and autumn ranges of naur. Relatively high total ungulate biomass (3028 kg km-2) and low recruitment of naur (56 young per 100 adult females in autumn) suggested interspecific competition. The spatio-temporal heterogeneity in composition and phenology of food plants across the steep gradient of altitude, together with rotational grazing, appears to indirectly facilitate coexistence of naur and smallstock. However, owing to high crossseasonal (inter-seasonal) overlaps, competition is likely to occur between these two groups at high stocking densities. Within seasons, naur overlapped more with free-ranging yak than with smallstock. As their habitat use and diets were most similar in winter, when both fed extensively on the same species of shrubs, naur was most likely to compete with yak during that season.