Sabira Ståhlberg and Ingvar Svanberg: Loplyk Fishermen. Ecological Adaptation in the Taklamakan Desert

Abstract. − The Loplyks form a small ethnic group previously settled at the Lop Lake (Lop Nor) in the Tarim Basin. With an economy based on fishing, this semi-nomadic Turkic group adapted to the arid conditions and scarce biological resources at the fringe of the Taklamakan desert. In the late nineteenth century, foreign travellers observed that they could fulfil most of their material needs through the use of available plants, animals, and fish species. Anthropogenic pressure and climate change have dried Lop Nor and forced the Loplyks to turn into farmers. This article discusses their adaptation strategies from an ethnobiological viewpoint. [Xinjiang, Loplyk, fishermen, hunter-gatherer, ecological adaptation, ethnobiology, adaptation strategies]