Hello! My name is Anna, I am a conservationist researching the wild camel with WCPF. I am working, as part of a larger team of researchers, to create a management plan for the wild camel in Mongolia- collecting the information necessary to save the species from extinction.
This is the first blog post of a series which will tell you a little more about the wild camel and the team working to save them. This first post is an introduction to the wild camel and the work I am doing for my PhD. If you have any questions then please get in touch. You can find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @wildcamels
The critically endangered wild camel survives only in Mongolia and China. With an estimated less than 1,000 now remaining in the wild, it is one of the most endangered large mammals on the planet. Many factors threaten its survival, including habitat loss and degradation, desertification due to climate change, and hybridisation with the domestic Bactrian camel. Little is known about this species, due to a combination of the remoteness of its Gobi habitat and historic genetic ambiguity- it was only in 2009 that definitive genetic proof proved the wild camel to be a separate species to the domestic Bactrian. So vital research is required to better understand these threats and how they are impacting populations.
My PhD programme will aim to gather some of the information required to further understand the threats to the wild camel. The research includes genetics and population estimates. Future blogs will give more information on both these projects. Findings of this research will be used to improve the population assessment process and to produce a scientifically-informed species management plan. The research will also provide the evidence needed for improved management of the species in both its range in the Great Gobi A Special Protected Area (GGASPA) and in captivity-at the captive breeding centre at Zakhyn Us.
The wild camel is a really special creature and I’m looking forward to sharing more information on it, our work, projects, researchers and partners with you. There is lots going on and a lot to learn!