Indigenous uses and traditional practices of endemic and threatened Chilgoza Pine Pinus gerardiana Wall. ex D.Don by tribal communities in Kinnaur District, Himachal Pradesh, northwestern Himalaya

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Swaran Lata
P.S. Negi
S.S. Samant
M.K. Seth


Pinus gerardiana is an endemic and threatened pine of northwestern Himalaya.  It is the only conifer in India which is traded for its nuts.  In addition to subsidiary source of income to Kinnaura tribes, it is an important part of ecology, traditions, and culture of Kinnaur District of Himachal Pradesh.  Kinnaura are one of the largest ethnic groups of Himachal Pradesh famous for their own unique traditions, culture, and lifestyle.  In view of this, the present study was conducted to document the indigenous uses and traditional practices of Pinus gerardiana (Chilgoza Pine) by Kinnaura tribes of Himachal Pradesh.  At present, destructive harvesting practices of collection of Chilgoza nuts, fuelwood, torchwood, timber, and needles of Chilgoza Pine is not only causing serious damage to trees but also affecting its natural regeneration and future crop production. Thus, this continuous loss of Chilgoza Pine will affect the livelihood of the tribal communities and ecosystem of the area in near future.  Hence, population assessment, ecological niche modeling, awareness programmes, and sustainable harvesting of cones are suggested for its conservation.


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