Bactrian Camels in the List of Critically Endangered Species - Bactrian Camels ~ Friendly Eco Might

Friday, 28 March 2014

Bactrian Camels in the List of Critically Endangered Species - Bactrian Camels

Bactrian Camels

One of the most critically endangered species is the Bactrian camel (also called Camelus bactrianus) is a large mammal, and is from the steppes of Central Asia. It has two humps, in contrast to the single humped dromedary camel. Its population of two million is in the domesticated form. Authorities like the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), use the name Camelus Ferus for the wild Bactrian camel and Camelus bactrianus for domesticated Bactrian camel. This name comes from the historical region of Bactria.

Since it has tolerance to cold, and high altitudes, it was used by those people who were involved in Silk trade in the Silk Route. The wild Bactrian has a population of 800 in October 2002 and it falls under the category of critically endangered in IUCN list of endangered species. Its majorly found in regions of the Gobi and Taklamakan Deserts, parts of the Mangystau Province of Kazakhstan and Kashmir valley in Pakistan and India. But they migrate to rivers during winters.

Where do they live?

Bactrian Camels habitat ranges from rocky mountain massifs to arid deserts, stony plains and sand dunes. There, the vegetation is sparse with harsh conditions and extreme temperature conditions ranging from −40°C in winter to 40°C in summer.

What is the lifespan of Bactrian Camels?

The estimated lifespan is up to 50 years. The only predators that target wild Bactrian camels are gray wolves. Because of increasingly dry conditions in the species' range, the cases of wolf predation on wild camels at oases has increased. Years back, the Caspian tiger was known to predate wild Bactrian camels. But now this subspecies are almost extinct.

Why are Bactrian Camels on the verge of extinction?

Lesser than a thousand (approx. 600) are thought to survive in the wild and the number of individuals is decreasing. The extinction of these species is all human related.

  • Their habitat loss is high to develop for mining and industrial complexes.
  • The increasing human populations force to share food and water sources with domestic stock and sometimes even shot by farmers.
  • They are targeted mainly by hunters seeking food, skin, sport, or just to protect their own domestic animals from overgrazing by camels.

What are the measures taken to Save Bactrian Camels?
The Wild Camel Protection Foundation (WCPF) has established two wildlife preserves, with the help of the governments of Mongolia and China, ‘Great Gobi Reserve A’ in Mongolia in 1982, and 'Arjin Shan Lop Nur Nature Reserve' in China in 2000. Now, small captive breeding programs have been started, with the prime goal of reintroduction of these Bactrian Camels.

Tags: Bactrian Camels, Critically Endangered Species, IUCN, WCPF, extinction of bactrian camels, wild bactrian camels, fauna, endangered animals, habitat, wild camels



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The Author

Somanath Yadavalli is 19 year old guy, who is pursuing his B.Tech (Electronics and Communication Engineering) in The National Institute of Engineering, Mysore, Karnataka, India. He is managing several blogs from his own living room. His passion is to do something for his planet. Read more...

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