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00:00:00
deep in the mountains of western China these people are on the hunt for cordis apps known as the **** of the Himalayas tones how or insect grass has been used as traditional Chinese medicine for centuries , mon jun shells been picking them since he was just fifteen years old data is transferred to get it's really difficult to find the chorus apps but its value is higher and more expensive than gold every spring mom travels more than six hundred kilometers or three hundred and seventy miles from his village to these peaks inching hi province but it's a trip well worth his while he can make over a thousand dollars per season which is what he'd make back at his farm in a year transferred deserved to go do you ship when you're out looking for them you'll need to get low to the ground on an angle to find them , the Chinese believe the parasitic fungus can cure anything from kidney disorders to impotence and demand for it has skyrocketed it's an important source of income for Tibetan and Muslim seasonal workers but with every passing year the court assessor becoming harder and harder to find workers say they only get half the hall of a decade ago do you think it's you the climate was different in the past the glaciers were high but now it's warmer so they're gone and so are the core to saps according to Chinese state media glaciers on the Ching hai Tibet plateau have shrunk about fifteen percent in the past half century the mountains are warming up and prime picking grounds are retreating up the slopes Reuters went to investigate there was very little permanent snow except your some of the peaks , chi hi province in western China is probably one of the world's biggest producers of Cordyceps because of the weather I mean it's cold is cool and the ground temperature %HESITATION is is never really above zero but with global warming the ground is going gradually over the years and the harvest is that we have spoken with this season , %HESITATION told us that the are climbing ever higher up the mountains to to look for the steps but to understand why climate affects the court is up so much it's important to understand their vicious life cycle so what exactly is a cut the septs route , it's essentially the end result offer mummification process so in the winter months in very cold conditions fungus from very cool soy will emerge and in fact a kind of more and over the winter months the fungus will gradually take over its host and by the end of winter and the arrival of spring this is what you get about an inch and a half of a mummified of more on top of the climate some experts say over harvesting is another big problem at the market peak in twenty ten the street price of course steps was more than a hundred thousand dollars per kilogram so locals flocked to the mountains the strain today is being felt by traders in local markets just on the quality is not great the color of this year is not so good , each piece of fungus is sold for about three dollars here inching high but by the time it reaches a store in Beijing that price will have multiplied several times and despite the recent slowdown some high quality quarters subs are still being sold for about seventy two dollars per gram making it more expensive than gold , for those who actually gather the fungus each piece is crucial in helping them scrape by but the weather is getting warmer every year on this afternoon mas only collected ten pieces that's half of what he usually gets tomorrow he'll have to climb higher and hope for a better hall