An assessment of Yarsagumba (Ophiocordyceps sinensis) collection in Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve, Nepal
Yarsagumba (Ophiocordyceps sinensis), an endemic species to the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau, is one of the most valuable medicinal mushrooms in the world. In Nepal, it is distributed largely in isolated patches of alpine grasslands of 3,000-5,000 m elevation. Although it is reported from 27 northernmost districts of Nepal, the local distribution pattern of this species is largely unknown. Furthermore, the collection system and local management regime of this species are not well documented. We conducted a field survey at Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve (DHR) among the different stakeholders in January-June 2012 to assess collection sites, patterns and trends and to understand the management regime. We estimated that about 75 kg of Yarsagumba is collected every year from DHR and the amount has been declining since 2008. To manage the resource, locals have initiated regulating the collection by issuing permits, taxing to the collectors, and monitoring the activities of harvesters with the help of park authorities. The revenue generated at local level from the permits has been used for community developmental activities.
KeywordsChinese caterpillar fungus Medicinal fungus Himalayan gold Conservation Yartsagunbu
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