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                                Modern equipment helps graze yaks in deep winter

                                2020-01-15 10:29:00China Tibet Online


                                Norbu Tsering checks at home how the yaks are doing on his phone. [Photo/Sichuan Daily]

                                During the winter, heavy snow falls on the Yazui plateau pasture in Muli Tibetan Autonomous County in Sichuan Province, and the temperatures plummeted to below zero degrees Celsius.

                                39-year-old herdsman Norbu Tsering lives in Xianlinggou, which lies at more than 3,660 meters above sea level.

                                This winter, grazing his more than 200 yaks in the pasture is unlike any in the past, while drinking butter tea in the warmth of his home, he taps the mouse on his laptop to view the active areas of the yak herds and their physical conditions.

                                Snow fields, lakes, and forests make up the beautiful winter scenery in Yazui pasture.

                                The herdsmen here still follow the traditional nomadic method that has been formed over thousands of years.

                                Each herd of yaks is free to move through the mountains and forests like wild yaks, and they grow naturally on the plateau.

                                Locals say their yaks have grown up drinking mineral water and eating herbs.

                                Although the quality of yaks here were excellent, many herders had the same troubles.

                                In the past grazing process, it was difficult to accurately understand the health of the yaks, and it was easy for yaks to get lost, and some inbreeding of yaks also directly affected the quality of the entire herd.

                                Beginning in 2018, China Telecom, which helped Muli, a national-level impoverished county, rise out of poverty, implemented the "Yak Internet Access" program and provided the "Little Shepherd" collar, an intelligent equipment that can accurately monitor the health status of livestock to herders for free.

                                Besides, technicians have also instructed herders on how to use this modern grazing equipment.

                                By placing the "Little Shepherd" collar around the neck of a yak, herders can collect real-time activity information of their livestock and upload it to a cloud platform to judge the health of the livestock, which allows herders to better manage their yaks according to the development status of each animal.

                                In previous winter grazing periods, herdsmen of Yazui pasture rode motorcycles and chased yaks through snowfields.

                                Now, they can precisely manage their yaks at home.

                                "This thing is amazing. Just staying at home, you can know where the yaks eat grass, where they run!" Norbu Tsering said happily.

                                Today, 170 yaks in Yazui pasture in Muli County are wearing "Little Shepherd" collars.

                                2,000 yaks in the pasture and Kangwu pasture will later be equipped with "Little Shepherd" collars as well.


                                Norbu Tsering (left) and his wife, Rinchen Lachu (right), put a "Little Shepherd" collar on a yak. [Photo/Sichuan Daily]

                                Editor: Tommy Tan.

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