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Australia Has The Largest Population of Camels in the World

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caskur™
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« on: April 08, 2009, 08:00:51 pm »
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If they're so bad for our environment, why aren't they being shipped off from whence they came is my question?....



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The World Today - Wild camel population becoming a problem

[This is the print version of story http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2005/s1344396.htm]


The World Today - Wednesday, 13 April , 2005  12:42:00
Reporter: Rachel Carbonell
ELEANOR HALL: State and Territory experts are meeting in Alice Springs today to discuss Australia's burgeoning feral camel problem. The population of wild camels in the Australian desert has now reached more than half a million, and it's doubling every eight to ten years.

Cattle stations and the environment are bearing the brunt of this population explosion and participants at today's meeting are attempting to find a solution to the problem.

Aerial culling, improving the live export trade in camels and camel abattoirs are all on the agenda, as Rachel Carbonell reports from the Northern Territory.

RACHEL CARBONELL: Australia is home to the largest population of wild camels in the world – the animals have become icons of the Australia desert. But they're not native, and their numbers are increasing at an alarming rate.

Glen Edwards from the Northern Territory's Parks and Wildlife Commission says the problem affects not only the Territory, but Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia as well.

GLEN EDWARDS: The population has been ticking along, doubling about every eight years. We may have as many as 700,000 camels Australia wide. Camels are having big impacts on pastoral industry. Camels are notorious for ripping down fences for often over tens of kilometres. They damage infrastructure at water points where people are watering their cattle.

Camels also have an impact on the environment. They selectively browse, which means they eat leaves off trees primarily, and it's believed they have the ability to actually send some species of trees and shrubs to local extinction. They also have a high impact on the better-watered parts of the landscape – you know, the wetlands and things like that.

RACHEL CARBONELL: People started releasing domestic camels into the wild in the 1920's when cars began to take over as a better form of transport. Glen Edwards says so far, feral camels have been controlled sporadically with limited culling, fencing and mustering. But he says governments are soon going to be forced to take a more aggressive approach.

GLEN EDWARDS: Camels are a large charismatic animal, much like horses. There will be, I guess, strong feelings about culling camels if it does come to that. If we're going to do something, it may well be the only option that we've got in some areas.

RACHEL CARBONELL: What about the commercial opportunities that are there for feral camels? Presumably there's camel meat, then there's different treks, and there's overseas trade as well?

GLEN EDWARDS: Yes, indeed and I think that industry and the resource is largely untapped at the moment. I sincerely hope that the industry does get a good head of steam up, and starts to make a serious contribution to management.

RACHEL CARBONELL: What do you mean when you say the industry – what are the commercial opportunities?

GLEN EDWARDS: You're probably looking at fewer than 2,000 animals harvested from the wild each year. Those animals are live caught, so they're yarded up, put on trucks, they'll go to a port where they're loaded onto a boat, and destined for an overseas market which typically is a place like Indonesia, or the Middle East, where the camels are slaughtered for meat, essentially.

So conceivably, there is a large untapped market out there for camel meat and we could probably do a lot better if we had an export grade abattoir within Australia which could handle camels and the large volumes of camels, because that would allow the market to expand a fair bit.

RACHEL CARBONELL: What about other uses for camels? I've heard stories in recent times that some of the Middle Eastern countries are seeking the genes of the Australian camel because the Australian camels I think are less diseased?

GLEN EDWARDS: It's true that the Australian camels are largely disease free and that is a big plus from an overseas perspective, because that means you're not too worried about importing diseases when you're bringing animals into your country.

RACHEL CARBONELL: Does it seem a bit sad or ironic that other countries overseas are seeking Australian camels as breeding stock, because they're disease free and hardy animals, and we're looking at slaughtering them?

GLEN EDWARDS: I don't know whether it's sad. I think it's often the way things go. You know, wildlife is in trouble all over the world for one reason or another.

You've got species facing extinction for one reason or another, and quite often when you've got an animal which has moved out of its native environment it becomes a pest. It becomes difficult to deal with and yeah, I'm not so sure whether it's a sad thing but it just seems to be the way things go.

RACHEL CARBONELL: Representatives at today's meeting in Alice Springs will devise a range of proposals to control feral camels and to develop camel industries which capitalise on the feral population. Those proposals will be put to State and Territory Governments with the aim of developing a national plan.

ELEANOR HALL: Rachel Carbonell with that report.
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bella
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« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2009, 09:35:24 am »
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you've got me
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caskur™
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« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2009, 10:19:20 am »
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One woman on another board is bleating about us doing this...there is no friggen way I want barbaric Afghans flooding my country....look what she said here...


Here is the link to the statistics I mentioned Caskur, in case you are interested.

http://www.immi.gov.au/media/publications/statistics/comm-summ/_pdf/iraq.pdf

It seems to me that there is an opportunity for Afghanistans to go to the central desert and take over the one million feral camels, who are causing an ecological disaster.  After all, it was the Afghanistans who used them way back in the 1870's.

They could have camel tours, like they do in the Negev Desert, sell camel urine, for medicinal purposes.  Lots of things to do with camels.

"Camel meat is healthier than beef. A single camel, when slaughtered, feeds ninety to an hundred people. A Bedouin out of water can survive for weeks by slitting the lower lip of his camel and sharing its cud then, later, slaughtering it and drinking the water stored in its four-tiered stomach. In addition to their famed benefits in desert survival, they are highly resistant to many deadly viral diseases and their antibodies could be used for new drugs. Their immune systems are so robust that they remain free from many of the viral diseases that affect other mammals such as foot-and-mouth and rinderpest.2"



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arete
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« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2009, 05:42:58 pm »
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Have u ever ridden a camel?
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arete
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« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2009, 05:43:41 pm »
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I rode an elephant once with my 2 yr old daughter.  I loved it.
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arete
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« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2009, 05:45:03 pm »
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I brought the pictures to work and was showing my co-workers
and my boss said...."lucky elephant".   Undecided
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caskur
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« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2009, 07:04:56 pm »
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Have u ever ridden a camel?

Not me. They spit on you.

They smell too. Call me old fashioned but I like cars.


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