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Bhaderwah: Amid the COVID-19 outbreak that delayed the biannual movement of tribal nomads this year, the high-altitude grasslands of this scenic valley in Jammu and Kashmir’s Doda district have come back to life with more than 450 families from the Bakerwal community reaching here with their cattle.
Tribal nomads, originally from the Kathua district and different parts of neighboring Punjab, crossed the 14,600-foot snow-capped Chattar-Gala pass on foot to enter the Chenab Valley with thousands of their sheep, goats and horses ever since. one week.
The administration of Jammu and Kashmir has issued thousands of passes to nomadic tribes belonging to the Gujjars and Bakerwals over the past fortnight to facilitate their biannual movement, which usually begins from March to April, but has been delayed. this year due to the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent lockdown.
Traditionally, the locals welcomed these nomadic tribes, who have frequented the many meadows of the Chenab Valley for centuries.
However, this year, locals seem to be a little afraid of their presence as they fear that some of them may be carriers of the deadly virus and may become an active source of the spread of the disease in the district, which was until present remained coronavirus-free. .
Responding to the apprehensions of residents, the district administration took various measures, including the establishment of several special health facilities for the screening of all nomads entering the twin districts of Doda and Kishtwar either by road or by crossing the high passes bordering the Bhaderwah Valley.
“In addition to the police and the army, we have specially engaged the forestry service which has been responsible for maintaining close surveillance 24 hours a day on all entry routes into the forest area traditionally used by nomads, including including the snow-capped pass of Chattar-Galla, Kailash, Seoj and Padri Gali of Bhadarwah Forestry Division, ”District Development Commissioner Doda Sagar Dattaray Doifode told PTI.
He said forestry officials also register every nomad who enters the district via high altitude passes and send them to designated hospitals for counseling, a health check and necessary tests, only while they receive certificates and permission to travel further.
According to official figures, every year thousands of nomadic families from Bakerwals and Gujjars, along with their herds of cattle, travel to the high grasslands of the Chenab Valley, especially in the twin districts of Doda and Kishtwar. , during the summer months.
The herding families begin their journey to the mountain pastures for grazing during the summer, before returning to the warmer districts of Jammu in October before winter.
The nomads, however, have maintained that they are fully aware of the danger of the coronavirus and have taken all precautions in accordance with guidelines and notices issued by the government from time to time.
“We come from the village of Bathindi de Kathua and arrived here on foot after crossing snowy passes. All of us take all the precautions recommended by the doctors in Kathua and the forestry officials here, ”said Sharafat Din, 70, who had reached the Jaie meadow of Bhadarwah, showing the hospital stamp on his front. -arm.
“We are fully aware of the danger of COVID-19 as you can see that we all wear face coverings and maintain social distancing. We have been asked not to visit markets and populated areas, so we follow all instructions as we know this is also for our safety, ”said Shama Begum, 19, a girl from Bakerwal.

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The remarkable images were taken on a trip to Tomsk State University in the Yamal Peninsula just 1,043 miles from the North Pole

A flowery meadow in the arctic

Grasslands come to life in a once barren tundra, a graphic sign of global warming.

Brightly colored fields of flowers grow across the Russian Arctic just over a thousand miles from the North Pole.

The array of poppies, dandelions and daisies along with the lush green grasses of these arctic edens are more akin to a temperate climate like that of Britain.

Yet the oases of vegetation seen in these photos lie at a latitude of 70 degrees North and the stunning array of flowers grows in soil that until recently was hard permafrost.

The remarkable images were taken during a trip to Tomsk State University in the Yamal Peninsula just 1,043 miles from the North Pole, according to reports.

Cottongrass flowers bloom on deserted military base


Sergey Loiko TSU / The Siberian Ti)

It’s just 1,000 miles from the North Pole


Sergey Loiko TSU / The Siberian Ti)

Traditionally, such landscapes are associated with moss and lichen with grazing reindeer herds.

On a site verified by scientists, cotton grass was growing in a remote former Soviet military base.

Specifically, principal researcher Sergey Loiko said that the Arctic in bloom is a feature of the so-called “Khasyreys” – dry tundra lakes.

These were known to be fertile, but now the speed of their creation is increasing – and the phenomenon is spreading elsewhere thanks to man.

“Normally, Khasyreis are formed over a fairly long period of time, decades in fact,” the scientist said.

The usual arctic landscape

Yet this process well above the Arctic Circle is now accelerating due to thawing permafrost.

Windblown or animal-borne seeds germinate in mineral-rich soil that is no longer frozen as the tundra becomes warmer and greener.

The same is happening near remote villages where locals have dug permafrost to get sand for construction.

Over time, the disturbed permafrost thawed, enriching the soil with minerals from its deeply frozen layers.

“This resulted in mounds covered with carpets of herbs and flowers, with daisies, dandelions, polar poppies, horsetail, several types of wormwood, cereals and even willows growing in the ‘oases’. arctic, ”The Siberian Times reported.

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An expansion in varieties of flora is now expected with the arrival of wildlife never seen before in Arctic regions, researchers say.

“Thawing permafrost is undesirable because of the potential threats to infrastructure,” Loiko said.

Yamal has also seen the formation of spectacular giant craters in recent years, believed by scientists to be caused by eruptions of underground methane as the permafrost thaws.

Now, researchers believe these areas may allow an expansion of agriculture in the far north, with cattle grazing in the summer and a better source of food for reindeer.

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Biomes are the world’s primary habitats. These habitats are identified by the vegetation and the animals that inhabit them. The location of each biome is determined by the regional climate. Grassland biomes consist of temperate grasslands and tropical grasslands, or savannas.

Key takeaways: Temperate grasslands

  • Temperate grasslands are areas of open grassy plains sparsely populated by trees.
  • Various names of temperate grasslands include pampas, downs, and veldts.
  • Temperate grasslands are found in various regions north and south of the equator, including Argentina, Australia, and central North America.
  • Temperatures vary seasonally with tornadoes, blizzards and fires occurring in many areas of temperate grasslands.
  • Temperate grasslands are home to many large and small herbivores.

Temperate grasslands

Like savannas, temperate grasslands are areas of open grassland with very few trees. Temperate grasslands, however, are located in cooler climatic regions and receive on average less rainfall than savannas.


Temperatures in temperate grasslands vary seasonally. In winter, temperatures can drop well below 0 degrees Fahrenheit in some areas. In summer, temperatures can reach over 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperate grasslands receive low to moderate precipitation on average per year (20-35 inches). Most of this precipitation is in the form of snow in the temperate grasslands of the northern hemisphere.

Tornadoes, blizzards and fires

Nickalbi / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Three natural factors that impact temperate grassland biomes are tornadoes, blizzards, and fires. Part of the plains region in the United States is called Tornado alley due to the hyperactivity of the tornado. This region stretches from northern Texas to North Dakota and stretches east to Ohio. Tornadoes are created when warm Gulf air meets cold Canadian air, generating about 700 tornadoes per year. Temperate grasslands located in cooler regions also experience freezing winters and blizzards. Strong winds generate sudden snowstorms that spread across the plains. Due to the hot and dry climate of summer, forest fires are common in temperate grasslands. These fires are usually started by lightning but are also the result of human activity. Dry, thick grass fuels fires that can spread for hundreds of miles. While the fires are destructive in nature, they also ensure that the grasslands remain grasslands and are not overgrown with scrub vegetation.


Places of temperate meadows.
Terpsichores / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

Grasslands are located on all continents except Antarctica. Some temperate grassland locations include:

  • Argentina – pampas
  • Australia – low
  • Central North America – plains and prairies
  • Hungary – puszta
  • New Zealand – low
  • Russia – steppes
  • South Africa – velds


Low to moderate precipitation makes temperate grasslands a difficult place for tall plants such as woody shrubs and trees to grow. The grasses in this region have adapted to cold temperatures, drought and occasional fires. These grasses have deep, massive root systems that establish themselves in the soil. This allows the grasses to stay firmly rooted in the soil to reduce erosion and conserve water.

Vegetation in temperate grasslands can be short or tall. In areas that receive little rainfall, the grasses stay low to the ground. Taller grasses can be found in warmer areas that receive more rainfall. Here are some examples of vegetation in temperate grasslands: bison grass, cacti, sagebrush, perennial grasses, sunflowers, clovers and wild indigos.


American Bison.
Juan Carlos Munoz / The Image Bank / Getty Images Plus

Temperate grasslands are home to many large herbivores. Some of them include bison, gazelles, zebras, rhinos, and wild horses. Carnivores, such as lions and wolves, are also found in temperate grasslands. Other animals in this region include: deer, prairie dogs, mice, jack rabbits, skunks, coyotes, snakes, foxes, owls, badgers, blackbirds, grasshoppers, larks meadows, sparrows, quails and hawks.

More terrestrial biomes

Temperate grasslands are one of the many biomes. Other terrestrial biomes in the world include:

  • Chaparrals: Characterized by dense shrubs and grasses, this biome experiences dry summers and wet winters.
  • Deserts: Many people mistakenly assume that all deserts are hot. Deserts are classified according to location, temperature, and amount of precipitation.
  • Savannahs: This large prairie biome is home to some of the fastest animals on the planet.
  • Taiga: Also known as coniferous forests, this biome is populated by dense evergreen trees.
  • Temperate forests: These forests have distinct seasons and are populated by deciduous trees (shed their leaves in winter).
  • Tropical Rainforests: This biome receives abundant precipitation and is characterized by tall, dense vegetation. Located near the equator, this biome experiences warm temperatures all year round.
  • Tundra: As the coldest biome in the world, tundra is characterized by extremely cold temperatures, permafrost, treeless landscapes, and low rainfall.


  • Hoare, Ben. Temperate grasslands. Rain Tree, 2011.
  • Nunez, Christine. “Information and facts about the prairies.” National Geographic, March 15, 2019,

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A SPECIAL summer evening was held at Three Hagges Wood-Meadow, between Escrick and Riccall in North Yorkshire, to allow sponsors and supporters to see the meadow in full bloom.

The community’s woodland and meadow was created by Ros Forbes Adam, of Skipwith Hall, near Selby.

The keynote speaker was Professor David Hill, President of Plantlife, who warned that the loss of biodiversity over the past 60 years in the UK has been “simply catastrophic”. We really need to do something about it ”.

He said the Three Hagges Wood meadow might be small in the scheme of things, but it was vitally important to show what can be achieved with tenacity, will and passion. “This is an exemplary project that can show how to intensify landscape restoration,” he said.

“Effective conservation will only be achieved when projects like this are implemented throughout the campaign. It is absolutely crucial to add value to the assets of natural capital. The loss of biodiversity, caused in large part by agriculture and development, affects us personally, depriving us of the sheer pleasure of nature.

Professor Hill said restoration was needed on a large scale if past losses were to be corrected.

“I therefore propose ‘The Restoration Economy’ – post-Brexit funding to improve the environmental performance of agriculture, including a tax incentive whereby investors would receive tax relief when they invest in restoration programs. the biodiversity.

“They received it for planting vast expanses of noxious evergreens in the highlands, so why couldn’t they receive it for positive action to protect natural resources?”

“The future needs massive participation in catering programs, funded by both public and private sectors to create markets, just as we create markets for food. ”

Ms Forbes Adam said the loss of wildlife was man-made but could be reversed by man.

“By establishing a wooded meadow in every parish in the UK, we can make a significant contribution to recovering the losses of the last century,” she said.

“Six years ago, we chose the Wooded Prairie Model in an attempt to transform a ‘conventional’ 25-acre barley field into one of the most diverse ecosystems in the temperate northern world.

“We recorded the methodology we used and will share it with other conservation organizations. Our ultimate goal as a charity is to see a wooded meadow in every parish, so that nature and wildlife are accessible to everyone at their doorstep, for education, health and well-being.

In May 2013, the site had been sown with two mixtures of lowland grasses (wet and dry). In December, 10,000 native trees and shrubs of 28 species were planted in the prairie, in 12 coppice groves with standard landscaping.

Botanical, entomological, bird and professional mammal surveys have been organized every year.

Ms Forbes Adams said: “From a ‘blank canvas of biodiversity’, in three years we now have over 100 species of meadow flowers and grasses, each of which is host to insects. pollinators and others. This was achieved by enhancing the prairie with native prairie flowers collected, sown and planted by our volunteers, as well as species that came of their own.

“We have reached a remarkable number of pollinators: more than 20 species of butterflies, 50 of moths, the nine common species of bumblebees, as well as 70 other species of lesser-known pollinator species, including solitary bees and hoverflies, as well as dragonflies. and damselflies at the pond, and many of them are breeding populations. 900 insect species have been identified there by entomologist Andrew Grayson.

The meadow is home to barn owls, kestrels, buzzards and herons, and in summer, swallows are plentiful.

Visit for more details.

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A public hearing on the proposed improvements and upgrades for Sunken Meadow State Park is scheduled for Oct. 23 at Kings Park High School, the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Recreation announced on Tuesday. historical preservation.

The park is one of several statewide slated for revitalization as part of a five-year, $ 90 million plan announced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in May 2013.

The public hearing offers residents an opportunity to “participate in the planning efforts” of the park, according to a press release from the agency.

State park staff will give a brief presentation of the Sunken Meadow management plan and seek public comment.

The 19ha meeting is held in the high school auditorium at 200 Route 25A, Kings Park.

Those unable to attend can view a draft master plan at the agency’s regional headquarters for Long Island at 625 Belmont Ave. at West Babylon; Sunken Meadow State Park office, Route 25A and Sunken Meadow Pkwy., Kings Park; or the Kings Park branch of the Smithtown Public Library at 1 Church Street in Kings Park.

The plan is also available at

Written comments and suggestions should be sent by mail to Mr. Pamela Otis, Director of the Office of Environmental Management, Albany 12238 or by email to [email protected]

The deadline is November 14.

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