Young researchers aid herders on plateau

China Daily | Updated: 2024-05-15 09:38
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Cao Ze feeds yaks at a ranch in Maqu county, Gansu province, on April 27.

LANZHOU — Riding a motorcycle, Zhao Zhiwei, 30, skillfully drove some 30 yaks back to the shed where his classmate Cao Ze was waiting to hang a feeding bag onto each yak's horns.

After appeasing a yak by touching its head, Cao grabbed the horns tight, leaned on the animal to push it down and quickly put on the bag. The yak then began to munch on a nutritious mix of straw, wheat bran and bean pulp.

"It takes skills to catch a yak smoothly. I learned them from local herders," said Cao, 26.

As doctoral candidates at Lanzhou University's College of Ecology in Gansu province, Zhao and Cao are stationed in Maqu county at an average altitude of over 3,700 meters, where they are conducting research and providing technological services to local herders.

Eighteen young researchers and postgraduate students led by their professor, Long Ruijun, have carried out fieldwork on ranches, herding bases and agricultural enterprises on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Through field investigations, experimental research and technical training, they have aimed to bring more benefits to the animal husbandry industry while balancing ecological protection and improving the livelihoods of local herders.

The young team has overcome various difficulties to conduct research on the plateau. For Zhao, the hardest part was purchasing yaks and sheep for research.

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