Chapter 12: Synthesis and key recommendations

Chapter 12: Synthesis and key recommendations Report

Managing the impacts of feral camels in Australia: a new way of doing business

  • Author(s): Edwards, GP, McGregor, MJ, Zeng, B, Saalfeld, WK, Vaarzon-Morel, P, Duffy, M,
  • Secondary Author(s): Edwards, GP, McGregor, M, Zeng, B, Vaarzon-Morel, P, Saalfeld, WK
  • Tertiary Author(s): Desert Knowledge CRC,
  • Published: 2008
  • Publisher: Desert Knowledge CRC
  • Volume: DKCRC Research Report No. 47

Abstract: Feral camels are well adapted to the conditions found in desert Australia and have now occupied 3.3 million km2. Feral camels are one of the 73 or so species of introduced vertebrates occurring on mainland Australia that do not meet the criteria to justify eradication effort. For such species, the management options are containment, control, or no management (Australian Pest Animal Strategy 2007). Because they occur in sparsely populated areas, feral camels are only noticed when their activities intersect with remote Aboriginal people, pastoralists, and the tourism and mining industries. The significant damage that camels have done, and are currently doing, to the fragile ecosystems, cultural sites, isolated communities, and pastoral enterprises of desert Australia has gone largely unnoticed by the bulk of Australia’s population. The current estimated population of about one million feral camels is doubling approximately every nine years (Saalfeld & Edwards 2008) and there is evidence that impacts will increase along with the population (Edwards et al. 2008). If we do not act now to mitigate the damage being caused by feral camels, irreparable damage may be done, particularly to environmental and cultural values, across much of desert Australia. The longer we take to act, the more it will cost to manage and repair the negative impacts of feral camels. Management of the impacts of pest animals should be informed by a risk management approach and be strategic in determining where management should occur, at what time, and what techniques should be used (Australian Pest Animal Strategy 2007). It requires coordination at the appropriate scale among all levels of government in partnership with industry, land managers, and the community (Australian Pest Animal Strategy 2007). The current management of feral camels, being largely ad hoc (Edwards et al. 2004), fails to adequately meet any of these criteria.

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Suggested Citation
Edwards, GP, McGregor, MJ, Zeng, B, Saalfeld, WK, Vaarzon-Morel, P, Duffy, M,, 2008, Chapter 12: Synthesis and key recommendations, Volume:DKCRC Research Report No. 47, Report, viewed 21 April 2024,

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