Why a World Camel Day?

We celebrate world camel day on 22 June each year

Camel is a multipurpose, unique and very useful animal for livelihood earning in the challenging climatic conditions of its habitats. Because of towering power of adaptation, camel ensures food security in conditions where other types of livestock can hardly survive. Camel is an efficient biological machine, converting poor roughages (shrubs, bushes and dry foliage) into precious milk while consuming lesser amount of water/kg milk production. The camel extract water from its excreta and produce almost dry and hard manure ball, as well as extract from the urine via its incredible kidneys, producing urine thicker than syrup. Camel produce milk with medicinal and functional properties, rightly called as natural pharmacy. Camel also provide, fiber, hides, recreation, sport opportunities, transportation & accessibility to millions of people around the world. The camel plays an incredible role in dispersing seeds, enriching soil fertility, recycling the woody roughages into manure (food for the soil microbiome) and overall ecosystem management. https://arkbiodiv.com/2022/05/18/not-only-food-but-also-the-ecosystem-management-the-camel-is-a-player-in-the-desert/amp/

The people interests is increasing in camels, especially in its milk followed by sport opportunities. The main drivers behind the interest in camel milk are medicinal power and availability in processed form. Except India, the camel population is increasing in all regions either slower or faster but growth is being noticed.

Camel is an interest of research model for the young scientists.
Camel is an interest of research model for the young scientists. Dr. Maria Chilka with a camel in the Sahara desert.

Camel is Still hiding from the eyes of the policymaker

Beside the above discussed potential and opportunities, the camel is still hiding from the eyes of the policymakers. Camel is seldom considered in R&D policies, both locally and globally which is very unfortunate. Camel4Life International is an influential forum advocating camel at global level, with a workforce of camelists (camel scientists, nomads/pastoralists, farmer, students, lovers) from all over the world. The forum has a WhatsApp platform, sharing information on regular basis 24/7 to highlight the camels trends, potential, opportunities, and challenges. The forum is a great platform supporting the researcher and students in conceptualizing research methods and publications. Though, the ice is melting but still the camel is not properly considered and placed at the policymaking platforms. https://arkbiodiv.com/2020/06/20/history-of-world-camel-day-22-june/amp/

Camel milk is a source of earning for the rural poor. This image was shot in Cholistan region of Pakistan.

We celebrate world camel day on 22nd June each year

We celebrate world camel day each year on 22nd June to highlight the importance of incredible camel and aware/educate the masses about the role of the camel in food security, climate change adaptation, culture and ecosystem management. Each year, this day is being celebrated in many parts of the world and the interest is increasing with the passing of each camel day. The interest of the people beyond the camels’ habitats is also increasing and the demand for the camel milk is towering with the passage of time. More and more people are coming in camel milk and sports business. We can see camel dairies in the Western countries and regions like USE, Australia and European Union. Also, now we have camel racing in France and Australia, soon more countries will enter in the ring. Celebration of camel day is a success story and a great support for the camel development. https://camel4all.info/index.php/2022/06/16/who-is-the-founder-of-world-camel-day/

The dancing wind and sand made a sculpture of a crocodile in the Desert – The Desert’s Art — SUSTAINABLE FARMING FOR FOOD AND HEALTH

It is always fun walking and exploring the treasures and beauties of the desert. I love to walk and explore in the desert. Desert is the ocean of the sand but there is no Shark and no Stingrays. You can find beautiful and unique flora, fauna, sand dunes, songs of the air blowing, and sometimes a desert storm. Desert is a paradise but you have to choose a good time/weather to roam in the paradise. We have 3 months to go in the desert and inhale long breaths in the open and wide horizons of the desert.

The dancing wind and sand made a sculpture of crocodile in the Desert – The Desert’s Art — SUSTAINABLE FARMING FOR FOOD AND HEALTH

Why Camels Eat Cardboard? The Power of Fiber Digestibility in Camels

The camel can eat and digest anything

The camel hardly avoids eating anything. Very few plants like Calitropis are avoided by camels as they are very poisonous. I have noticed camels eating paper cartons and cardboard. Some camels have metabolic problems (Pica) from eating rubbish including plastics. They have severe salts and mineral hunger. I have found carcasses of camels, the bellies were filled with plastic stones. Plastic is the most hazardous and dangerous.

Plastics are converted into hard ropes and balls (polybezoars) in the stomach of camels.”

— Dr. Raziq

The hungry camels eating cardboard, A report from Kazakhstan

Extreme heat has dried up pastures in drought-hit Kazakhstan, leading farmers to feed cardboard to cattle and other livestock. The people deliberately offer cardboard, as cardboard is made from cellulose which ruminants can digest. It is not clear how much nutritional value it may have.

A video from Kazakhstan, camels eating cardboard

Plastic is neither digestible nor healthy

Eating plastic is a very serious camel welfare issue. How we can help in such circumstances? The first and the utmost need is to aware people of the hazardous role of plastics so they don’t through plastic everywhere, especially in the camel grazing areas/deserts.

Secondly, the vets should thoroughly analyze the case, do not put camels on antibiotics and pain killers but should know the reason for sickness. Progressive emaciation and on and off eating are very clear signs of gut blockage or hardware problems. https://arkbiodiv.com/2020/11/22/the-photostory-of-a-years-old-camel-died-of-eating-rubish-in-the-desert/amp/

Here is a video of camels eating cardboard

I shot this video in June 2022. The camel eating cardboard. We should provide camels a natural and safe environment for grazing.

Plastic pollution is a camel killer phenomenon

In a study in UAE, (2008-2020) 30,000 camels were analyzed in the field or in a laboratory by staff from Dubai’s Central Veterinary Research Laboratory, about 300 died because of polybezoars – lumps of indigestible material made of plastic. For details, you can click the link of the National newspaper; https://www.thenationalnews.com/uae/environment/uae-recycling-hundreds-of-uae-camels-have-died-from-eating-plastic-bags-study-shows-1.1117788

I love the camels and the desert – I clean the desert on a weekly basis

I explore the desert once a week for many years. I collect some rubbish from the desert each week and throw it in the nearby facility of waste bins. Roughly, I collect and properly dispose of some 500 kg of rubbish each year. We must show sympathy and sensitivity to nature at large and the poor camels specifically. https://arkbiodiv.com/2020/09/28/plastic-pollution-is-a-killer-for-camels-in-the-desert/amp/

Eating wood, cardboard, manure, and termite mounds is different from eating plastics, bones, and stones.

In most cases, the plastic is eaten by camels because of involuntary reason, eating something inside the plastic lead to plastic swallowing.

I have made many videos and written many articles to highlight the trashing issues and the camel health

The way forward

I always suggested careful consideration be placed on the role of single-use plastics, their current use, and their eventual elimination from modern societies. I’m very thankful for Abu Dhabi state’s decision to ban the use of single-use plastic gradually. Abu Dhabi has banned single-use plastic bags from Wednesday, June 1, 2022, as part of a wider initiative to help protect the environment and reduce pollution. https://www.timeoutabudhabi.com/news/abu-dhabi-single-use-plastic-ban-rules Now, the malls and stores will not give plastic bags for free. Gradually such hazardous plastic will be banned completely. I appeal all the world to follow the same methodology and save nature.

Why native flora diversity is better than monoculture forest for replantation

My point of view

I always emphasized to please plant the native flora for replantation, and reforestation. Even, in the cities, parks, lawns, schools, hospitals, and universities. It will give a positive impact on the environment and nature. It will provide better habitat to the local or native biodiversity such as; birds, bugs, insects, lizards, herbivores, and others. https://arkbiodiv.com/2022/01/23/native-shrubs-are-the-best-for-the-municipal-and-homes-beautifications/amp/

Beautiful Emirates' Tree
Wherever you walk in the desert, you will see and meet the beautiful wooden flora, Prosopis. These trees act as a source of landmarks and help as GPS for livestock and wild animals.

I’m a desert, rangelands, and livestock ecologist, always promoting the idea to develop the grazing lands with native biodiversity. In the meanwhile, I suggested many times to use native flora for plantation even in the parks, lawns, and other places as I mentioned above. Here is an example of the Morning Glory (Convolvulus cephalopods) which can give beauty at very low costs as it is resistant to drought and pestshttps://arkbiodiv.com/2022/03/03/the-beautiful-morning-glory-convolvulus-cephalopods-in-the-desert-of-alain-uae/amp/.

This is a very good article that supports my opinion

With the title as; “Managing forests for competing goals” the Science magazine published an article based on the findings of Feng et al. Feng et al. synthesized a dataset from several hundred publications across six continents to determine whether multispecies planting had advantages over monocultures in productivity. They found that growth and productivity were substantially greater when multiple tree species were grown together compared with monocultures, echoing findings in natural systems of positive relationships between productivity and plant biodiversity. They attribute their results to niche complementarity when different plant forms—such as deciduous and needle-leafed trees—are grown together. Collectively, the studies by Hua et al. and Feng et al. suggest that more complex, multispecies plantations may offer the promise of higher productivity while at least in part supporting biodiversity and providing ecosystem services. Replacing native forests with plantations, even multispecies plantations, cannot fully restore biodiversity, but well-designed forest restorations may support important ecological and conservation goals while providing economic value. https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.abp8463

Native sheep breed of Balochistan Pakistan
Native livestock breeds are highly resilient and sustain their productivity in limited resources

I have been documenting, analyzing, and reporting the worth of native flora in the context of biodiversity, food (for us and livestock), environmental support, and another aspect of goodness. Here is the link to my general article about the goodness of trees and other flora.

I’m giving a field presence in a video about the possible use of Haloxyllon sp for hedging in the parks, lawns, and beautification places. I’m also continuously writing on Twitter for the goodness of our Mother Earth and huminity.


Twitter Space – Africa Day and Food Security

Food security is a challenge almost in all the vulnerable regions of the world including Africa. The food security challenge is very genuine but the continent is rich with fertile soil, genetic resources, and the strong muscles of the youths. I gave 3 thematic talks, which you can read in the ensuing line.

#AfricaDay#AfricaDay2022 Just spoke in the space made by @nourish_africa as strengthening the resilience of nutrition and food security. I discussed 3 themes to ensure a sustainable food system under emerging climatic and political conditions.

  1. Bring the youth back to agriculture and farming. There should be a farming emergency as the food prices are going up and up. Each youth should have mandatory training in farming. Farming should be declared as a sport as well, giving prizes and appreciation to the winners.
  2. Africa and other places as well should rely on native genetic resources for food and agriculture for a sustainable food supply. The native genetic resources need very low inputs, have no negative impact on soil health, and are highly adapted to the local climatic conditions.
  3. Some portions of family food must come from their own produce. It can be 0.1 100%. Each family should be a producer but not only a consumer. Also, farming must be mandatory as military training in some countries.