Australian Feral Camel Management Project
The Australian Feral Camel Management Project addresses the urgent need to significantly reduce feral camel densities to lessen their impacts in remote Australia on biodiversity, wetlands, waterholes and sites of cultural value to Aboriginal people, infrastructure (fences, houses, cars) and personal safety.
There are around one million feral camels in remote Australia and this population is doubling every nine years or so. They are already a significant pest across more than 3 million km2 in the arid and semi-arid parts of WA, SA, the NT and parts of western Qld, and individual camels range over many thousands of hectares in any given year. They cause more than $10m worth of damage to infrastructure and livelihoods each year. Costs to the natural environment and the cultural values of Aboriginal people are difficult to quantify but are considered to be significant. With the likelihood of drier and hotter periods in the rangelands associated with global warming, the impact of camels on the fragile wetlands of arid Australia and other key biodiversity values will be exacerbated.
The Australian Feral Camel Management Project is a national approach, which brings together for the first time all of the relevant state and territory governments (SA, WA, Qld, NT), Aboriginal organisations across the four jurisdictions (land trusts, corporations and land councils), NRM boards, conservation groups, the pastoral industry and commercial interests to protect identified refuges for biodiversity in northern and remote Australia that are under threat from feral camels.
The Project is guided by the extensive information collated in the reports of the Desert Knowledge CRC research project into feral camel impacts and management.