Invasive Species: Camels

Posted on July 12, 2009  Comments (1)

Wild camels overrun resources in Outback

It’s being described as a plague. More than 1 million wild camels are wreaking havoc in huge parts of Australia, eating the vegetation, destroying property, fouling and consuming water sources, desecrating indigenous sites and causing road accidents.

About 170 years after being introduced to the continent as a pack animal to open its arid interior, Australia’s feral camel population is the biggest in the world. The camels double their numbers every nine years and continually expand their domain.

There are proposals to build a halal abattoir in Australia and send packaged camel meat to Muslim countries. Another proposal is to turn camel meat into pet food. Although most people who have tried the meat pronounce it as tasty, similar to beef but leaner, attempts to get the Aussies to add camel to their precious “barbie” have gone nowhere.

“Australians are pretty conservative in their choice of meat,” Mr. Edwards said. “Kangaroo meat hasn’t penetrated the market; camel meat is in the same basket.” Everyone agrees that the solution should be as humane as possible.

“In their natural habitat they are wonderful,” Mr. Burrows said. “But they don’t belong here and they are causing great damage. We want to reduce their number, not eradicate them.”

The problems caused by invasive species are often much less obvious (and the species much smaller) but invasive species are a serious problem worldwide.

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One Response to “Invasive Species: Camels”

  1. Dave Brown
    July 12th, 2009 @ 11:44 pm

    I’m not going to lie, I think that’s hilarious to think about a ton of camels all running around, spitting at each other. I realize that obviously it’s a serious issue, but at the same time it’s kinda funny to think about it.

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