Frequently asked questions about camels feral camels in

Frequently Asked Questions About Camels Feral Camels In-Free PDF

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1 Why are camels a problem, Camels played an important role in the development of Central Australia in the late nineteenth and. early twentieth centuries The advent of motorised transport resulted in most of the domesticated. camels being released into the wild and a feral population has emerged Feral camels were able to. breed unchecked as they have no natural predators and they inhabit large tracts of sparsely. populated semi arid and arid areas and are therefore largely invisible Feral camels have a low. mortality rate generally only dying from old age or in prolonged drought events Over time the feral. camels have increased to such an extent that their numbers were estimated to be in the vicinity of 1. million in 2008 With the effects of extremely dry conditions on the feral camel population in 2009. combined with culling under the Australian Feral Camel Management Project and improved aerial. survey data the current population estimate is to be lower However the issue is not so much the. large number of animals but the damage they cause particularly where densities are high. Feral camels roam across an area of 3 3 million square kilometres of rangeland that incorporates. many different tenures Aboriginal Lands pastoral and mining leases conservation lands and other. Crown Land They cause damage to infrastructure sites of biological and cultural significance and. communities Feral camels eat almost anything although they do have preferences. Being herd animals camels move around in groups A herd of females and young can number in the. tens to the hundreds There are smaller herds of young males and adult males tend to be solitary. Group size is very dependent on the breeding season and on conditions in dry seasons they. congregate in large numbers sometimes into the thousands around watering points This causes. huge stress on available water sources upon which native animals also rely. Damage caused by camels to infrastructure property and people has been estimated at around 5 5. million a year Physical damage includes to fences yards water troughs tanks bores buildings. airconditioning units and windmills while vehicle accidents caused by camels have resulted in. deaths and serious injury, Feral camels impact on livestock production through competition for food and water resources at an. estimated cost of around 3 5 million per year, Direct control and management costs are estimated at over 2 5 million per year. Damage to the environment includes, To vegetation through feeding behaviour browse on trees and trampling resulting in. Local extinction of populations of preferred species such as the quandong Santalum. acuminatum bean tree Erythrina vespertillo and curly pod wattle Acacia sessiliceps. To wetlands through fouling trampling and subsequent sedimentation. Competition with native animals for food water and shelter. Contribution to greenhouse gas emissions,Damage to social cultural values.
Damage to sites of cultural significance for Aboriginal people such as water places water. holes rock holes soaks springs etc Many of these sites are sacred and damage to them. constitutes damage to the social and cultural life of Aboriginal people. Destruction of sources of bush tucker,Reduction in enjoyment of natural areas. General nuisance and causing hazards for drivers, It is also possible that feral camels could be involved in the spread of diseases such as bluetongue. Rinderpest Rift Valley fever surra trypanosomosis and bovine tuberculosis if there were outbreaks. of these diseases in Australia Brown 2004 Rober Henzell 2008 SA Animal and Plant Control. Group pers comm, Quantifiable cost to the Australian community not including to the environment or in greenhouse. emissions is in the order of 10 million per year,back to top. 2 What is the Australian Feral Camel Project doing about this problem. This project has been set up to humanely reduce the overabundance of feral camels and therefore. the densities of camels in areas of known high concentrations and of high conservation and cultural. value Management methods being used include ground culling for petmeat mustering for sale. mainly for meat processing and culling Exclusion fencing has limited potential due to construction. and maintenance costs and aesthetic issues around cultural and tourist sites. In addition the project is undertaking a significant monitoring and evaluation program MERI. Monitoring Evaluation Reporting Improvement to measure and report on improvements to. biodiversity outcomes for the land restoration of vegetation and water resources. The project s activities support the National Feral Camel Action Plan. back to top,3 What is the government doing about feral camels.
On 4 November 2010 the Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council endorsed the National. Feral Camel Action Plan as a national plan for an Established Pest of National Significance in. accordance with the Australian Pest Animal Strategy The Australian Government has also provided. funding to Ninti One Ltd to implement the Australian Feral Camel Management Project in. collaboration with partners State and Federal governments have supported the investigation of of. commercial use options to support feral camel management. back to top,4 Who is Ninti One Ltd, Ninti One Ltd is a national not for profit company that aims to build opportunities for people living in. remote Australia through research research application and outreach It is the management. company for a number of projects including the Australian Feral Camel Management Project. AFCMP the Cooperative Research Centre for Remote Economic Participation CRC REP and. the Intellectual Property derived from the Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre. DKCRC which conducted research on feral camels in Australia from 2005 2008 resulting in a. series of ground breaking reports reports 47 54 Subsequently Ninti One applied to the Australian. Government Caring for our Country Program for funds to implement a management strategy based. on the research results This application was funded in late 2009 and Ninti One now runs the. Australian Feral Camel Management Project in association with its 20 partner organisations. back to top, 5 What is the National Feral Camel Action Plan doing. The National Feral Camel Action Plan is a national strategy for the management of feral camels in. Australia now and into the future, The National Feral Camel Action Plan has been developed in response to the increasing number of. camels their increasing damage to the Australian rangelands and the need for a nationally. coordinated approach to dealing with these issues The vision for the plan is comprehensive. coordinated management of camels and their impacts that maintains and promotes the biodiversity. agricultural assets and social values of the rangelands for all Australians. Why a national plan, The current management of camels is largely ad hoc and is fragmented by jurisdictional and tenure. boundaries Consequently camel management to date has failed to provide a strategic and. risk based approach upon which local regional and state based management can be undertaken. In order to develop a strategic and risk based approach to camel management an overarching. emphasis has to be placed on the mitigation of the impacts of camels at appropriate scales rather. than simply reducing camel numbers, However as there is a positive relationship between camel density and degree of damage reducing.
camel numbers is an important strategy in achieving damage mitigation Further management of the. current feral camel population requires immediate effort by all governments industries land. managers and the various stakeholder communities, This can only be achieved by providing a framework at a national level as. the current large population of camels occurs over a very large range. camels are highly mobile and are able to move over large distances in relatively short time. camels occur in very remote areas that are sparsely populated by humans. there are differing perceptions on feral camels and their impacts. camels are considered to be both a pest and a resource and on occasion an icon. Key outcomes,The Plan identifies four key outcomes. development of the Australian and international community s understanding of and support. for the management of feral camels and their impacts. amelioration of the negative impacts of feral camels by addressing the current. over abundance of feral camels through the immediate and substantial reduction in their. numbers across the rangelands, adoption of a platform for the on going long term management of camels. development of partnerships and social capacities for camel management into the future. In order to achieve significant reduction of the negative impacts of the camel population all. governments landowners and holders communities and individuals will have to work together. towards a common goal of comprehensive coordinated management of camels and their impacts. that maintains and promotes the biodiversity agricultural assets and social values of the rangelands. for all Australians, The National Feral Camel Action Plan has been developed to meet this need by providing a strategic. and risk based approach upon which local regional and state based management can be. undertaken The substantial number of stakeholders who will need to be involved in the. implementation of the Plan may have some conflicting interests especially when seeking to. generate economic returns from removing camels from the landscape where markets to help do so. are limited, Aboriginal communities are concerned about cultural as well as aesthetic practical and physical.
dimensions of camel impacts Attitudes to camels are not homogenous even within communities and. many Aboriginal people value the potential they believe camels might provide for meaningful and. productive activity,back to top,6 Are feral camel numbers really increasing. Between 1880 and 1907 up to 20 000 camels were imported into Australia. In 1920 register records give the number of captive camels as 12 649. In 1941 register records give the number of captive camels as fewer than 2 300. Over the 1920s and 1930s many camels were released into the bush between 1920 and. 1941 it is possible that between 5 000 and 10 000 were released. Between 1940 and 1966 the population was not monitored. In 1966 the estimate was 15 000 20 000 feral camels across outback Australia McKnight. Between 1980 and 1983 Short et al 1988 produced a minimum population estimate of. 43 000 camels in a broad belt like distribution through central Australia from Broome in. Western Australia to western Queensland, In 2001 the minimum national population estimate was about 300 000 camels Edwards et. In 2006 the minimum estimate was about 730 000 camels Ward et al 2006. In 2008 the minimum population estimate was just under one million Feral camels are now. broadly distributed across about 50 of the Australia rangelands The wild dog fence. currently provides an effective barrier limiting the spread of feral camels into suitable areas of. New South Wales and Queensland, With the effects of extremely dry conditions on the feral camel population in 2009 combined. with commercial use and culling under the Australian Feral Camel Management Project and. improved aerial survey data the current population estimate is lower. From Saalfeld and Edwards 2008 and see also Saalfeld and Edwards 2010 on The Rangeland. Journal site,back to top,7 Isn t it cruel to kill feral camels. The highest standards of animal welfare and humaneness are followed as set out in various state. and national legislation and regulations,Some websites below offer further information.
Animal Welfare,http www daff gov au animal plant health welfare. International Animal Welfare links, http www daff gov au animal plant health welfare links international. Australian Animal Welfare Strategy, http www daff gov au animal plant health welfare aaws. The Australian Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals The Camel has been adopted. under state legislation and contains information guidelines and standards to assist people to meet. their duty of care in respect of the capture handling and transport of camels. In addition a national set of Codes of Practice COPSs and Standard Operating Procedures SOPs. have been developed specifically in relation to the humane management of feral camels through. activities such as culling Audits are performed under the project to ensure humane removal. In drought conditions camels die from starvation and dehydration generally around any remaining. water sources They trample each other to get to water which results in animals drowning in water. holes and rock holes and being further trampled, Controlling the numbers decreases the pressure on the landscape in dry conditions and will. hopefully result in fewer camels dying very cruelly due to starvation dehydration and trampling. back to top,8 Are you trying to kill all the feral camels.
No Eradication is not the goal and it could never be achieved in any case The immediate goal is to. reduce the density of feral camels to a level where their negative impacts are within acceptable. limits In the longer term the goal is to maintain low densities of wild camels through ongoing. management consistent with pastoral land management conservation and cultur. National Feral Camel Action Plan as a national plan for an Established Pest of National Significance in accordance with the Australian Pest Animal Strategy

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