Chasing Chinese caterpillar fungus (Ophiocordyceps sinensis) harvesters in the Himalayas: harvesting practice and its conservation implications in western Nepal

Shrestha, Uttam Babu and Shrestha, Sujata and Ghimire, Shivaraj and Nepali, Kamal and Shrestha, Bharat Babu (2014) Chasing Chinese caterpillar fungus (Ophiocordyceps sinensis) harvesters in the Himalayas: harvesting practice and its conservation implications in western Nepal. Society and Natural Resources, 27 (12). pp. 1242-1256. ISSN 0894-1920

Abstract

The Chinese caterpillar fungus is famous for its high market value, unusual life history, and significant medicinal uses. It is harvested by very poor communities and sold for an extraordinarily high price. Most of the studies on this species are focused on therapeutic uses, chemical analyses, ecology, and trade. However, harvesting techniques and intensity of the harvests remain undocumented. We document harvesting techniques, trends of harvest, and perceptions of the Chinese caterpillar fungus harvesters in Dolpa, Nepal, based on surveys, focus-group discussions, and direct observations. Along with increasing market value, intensity of the harvest has been increasing. The Chinese caterpillar fungus harvest has now become the second most important livelihood strategy for the local communities, after agriculture.
Reported per-capita harvest based on the first day of collection has declined over the last 4 years, apparently because of the decline in the stock and the increasing number of harvesters.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Copyright 2014 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - No Department
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2014 05:37
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2016 00:12
Uncontrolled Keywords: biodiversity conservation; harvesting; medicinal fungus; Nepal
Fields of Research : 05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050209 Natural Resource Management
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9606 Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation > 960604 Environmental Management Systems
D Environment > 96 Environment > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960810 Mountain and High Country Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1080/08941920.2014.928394
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/25999

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