YAK at the high-altitude pastures of Shimshal valley:
Yak breeding in Pakistan can be found in the upper valleys of mountain ranges from the Hindukush to the Himalayas Only mountain farmers dwelling at the upper limit of settlements are engaged in yak breeding. They have augmented their flocks by keeping yak in addition to other livestock.
Yak are kept in the highland pastures for their tractability, tolerance to the harsh climate, and high-value products of meat, milk, butter, wool, hair, and hides.
Yak lives between 2000 and 5000 meters of altitude. These impressive mammals adapted to the Himalayan environment and can carry loads over 120kg and females give milk.
At Shimshal valley, the high-altitude farmers collaborate with each other and take their yak to the highest pasture in the area called Pamir an extensive alpine grassland above 4500m. It takes them in avg 3-days continuous trekking to reach the pasture and 2 days to come back. The yak owners are divided into groups of 5-8 people and each group would look after the yaks for months at the pasture and the next group takes over upon their turn for the duty. This way all the owners don’t have to be with the yaks all the time rather just the group of 5-8 people take care of them in their turn.