Skip to comments.Feral Camels Plague Australian Outback
Posted on 05/18/2011 12:20:27 AM PDT by LucyT
* Over one million feral camels live in arid and semi-arid regions of the Australian outback.
* The camels demolish air conditioners, fences and toilet systems and foul critical watering holes.
* A new program aims to track the camels by allowing people to report sightings using Google maps.
The single-humped dromedary camels were brought mainly from India in the second half of the 19th century to work in the scrubby, red-earthed arid parts of the Australian outback, transporting people and as pack animals. Once trains, roads and machinery made them obsolete as workers, the camels were let loose, creating the world's only population of wild camels.
Since then their population has doubled every eight or nine years.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.discovery.com ...
"Uncivilized feral foreigners"
Thirsty camels get the hump in Australia water search
Australia has the largest wild camel population on Earth
A remote Australian outback town is under siege from thousands of feral camels hunting for water as drought continues to grip parts of the country.
The thirsty dromedaries smashed water mains and invaded the local airstrip in Docker River, leaving residents too scared to venture outside.
The local council has been given extra money to cull the animals.
Officials plan to use helicopters to herd them outside the town’s borders, where they will be shot.
Local Government Minister Rob Knight said the town in the Northern Territory, with a population of just 350, was under siege from 6,000 marauding camels.
“They’ve actually come right into the community, smashing infrastructure, so it’s become a critical situation,” he said.
“They are smashing over water mains and intruding on the airstrip causing problems with medical evacuations.”
> Ask the sharks.
How would they know?
Well, there's a solution that'll handle those buggers.
7 Things you really ought to know about Camel Anatomy
1. The Hump: Contrary to popular belief, the hump does not store water. Instead, its filled with fat, like a gravity-defying beer belly, which allows the camel to go for a month without food.
If the hump becomes depleted, it will shrink, flop over, and hang at the camels side.
2. The Nipples: Camel milk, the Bedouin beverage of choice, is more nutritious than cow milk, with more potassium, more iron, and three times as much vitamin C. In fact, Camel milk will soon become available in grocery stores across Europe. In the meantime, candy makers from Vienna are developing a chocolate camel milk for the kids.
3. The Nostrils: Camels can open and close their muscular nostrils at will, which prevents them from inhaling sand in the event of a sandstorm.
4. The Body Heat: When the outside temperature is higher than body temperature, most mammals sweat to cool off. But not the camel. To avoid sweating, its body temperature will rise up to 11 degrees, which is the primary way that camels conserve water in the desert. In fact, camels often huddle together to stay cool because their body temperature is often less than the outside air.
5. The Excretions: Camels also conserve water by producing concentrated urine and dry dung.
6. The Feet: When the thick, leathery pads of a camels foot hit the ground, they spread wide, preventing the camel from sinking into the sand.
7. Those Long Legs: When a camel walks, it moves both legs on one side and the both legs on the other, rocking side-to-side. This is why camels are nicknamed The ships of the desert. Camel legs are incredibly strong, which allows them to carry up to 1000 pounds. They also can walk 100 miles per day and sprint at 12 miles per hour.
processing feral camel meat in the Northern Territory.
Camel milk, the Bedouin beverage of choice, is more nutritious than cow milk, with more potassium, more iron, and three times as much vitamin C. In fact, Camel milk will soon become available in grocery stores across Europe. In the meantime, candy makers from Vienna are developing a chocolate camel milk for the kids.
How does their body produce this level of nutrition with their apparently poor diet?
Two-legged camels are a bigger problem.
Camels’ vital role in supporting human populations in some of the poorest and frequently drought-stricken areas of the world has now been widely acknowledged (Hjort af Ornäs, 1988). Droughts in Africa, India and Mongolia over the past decade have demonstrated that camel ownership can give pastoralists an excellent chance for survival as the advanced physiology of a camel allows it to go one month without water and continue to produce milk on the poorest of diets. While entire herds of cattle, sheep and goats succumb to arid conditions, camel populations survive relatively unscathed. Consequently, some pastoral groups with deeply ingrained traditions of cattle herding, such as the Samburu in northern Kenya, started to acquire camels (Sperling, 1987), a fact which has come to the attention of development agencies and international organizations.