In April 2019, WCPF PhD Student, Anna Jemmett, WCPF wild camel consultant Dr Adiya Yadamsuren, Bridget Johnson and Jen Quayle from Knowsley Safari Park, who are contracted to WCPF to supervise veterinary matters at the wild camel breeding centre together with student Rachel Partridge, all visited the WCPF wild camel breeding centre at Zakhyn Us in Mongolia.
The trip was a great success. The veterinarians health checked every wild camel in the breeding centre herd and completed individual identification sheets on each camel. They also ear-tagged 11 of the captive wild camels. Anna and Adiya placed 85 camera traps along the border fence with China in order to monitor wild camel behaviour near the international border. Both Mongolian rangers and young veterinarians were given training on the use of camera traps and veterinary procedures and necessary repairs and improvements were made to the fence and buildings at Zakhyn Us. Research was undertaken on another possible holding area and a soft release site. As well as setting camera traps, the team collected samples for genetic analysis. These included faecal, hair and tissue from wild camel carcasses. In total they collected 90 individual samples. After returning from the field they attended a post fieldwork meeting and workshop organised by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). The participants included the local government directors, Gobi ‘A’ park officers, rangers, herders and border patrol officers. The workshop included presentations, field work updates and discussions.
Altogether a very worthwhile visit which achieved a great deal.