Mountains in the Chaning World, Mountains in the Chaning World

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Human -pika (Ochotona) interaction in Himalaya of Nepal
Narayan Prasad Koju, Mukesh Kumar Chalise, Randall Charles Kyes

Last modified: 2017-08-30


Interaction between Human and wildlife continuing from evolution of human. This study focused on human and pika (Ochotona) interaction and conducted in two protected areas of Nepal: Langtang National Park (LNP) and ApiNampa Conservation Area (ACNA) from 2012 to 2016. Total nine field works were carried to collect local people’s perception on pika. The study was carried by group discussion, key informant interview, folk stories and direct observation of practices and rituals of local people, herder, pilgrim and Yarsagumba (cordyceps sinesis) collectors. Pikas in LNP are respected as symbol of Buddhist monk ‘Lama’ but its habitat is degrading in Gosainkunda area, LNP due to ritual practices of pilgrims and tourists. In contrast at ANCA meat of pikas were used by local people as medicine. Here pikas were observed consuming and storing toxic plants including Aconitum ferox. Biochemical research is warranted to explore scientific medical properties on pikas. Alternation in cultural practice is necessary at protected area to conserve pikas from anthropogenic pollution.

Keywords: Ochotona, toxic plant, traditional medicine, pollution, pilgrim

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