By B. Faye
A camel story by Dr. Bernard Faye from France. Dr. Faye is a very experienced and knowledgeable person in camel’s world. He is the founding member and the chairman of the International Society of Camelids Development and Research (ISOCARD). http://www.isocard.net/images/executive_members//FILE25827f644772f9e.pdf
The story about the camel future – Animal of future
In continuation of the series of camel stories from different regions of the world
Camel Beyond Their Cradle of Domestication
From their places of domestication 5000 years ago, dromedary and Bactrian camels moved far away from their cradle (origin of domestication). Two main parameters can explain this camel stock moving:
The aridification of the Sahara starting just before the Christian Era
The trade routes in Asia from China to the Mediterranean coast (Silk Road) and across Sahara from the Maghreb to the Sahel, using camels’ caravans.
FAO Statistics and the Camels
The world statistics (site FAOstat) available since 1961 only, show a regular increase of the camel population (approximatively 3%/year), but with different demography patterns.
Global Demographic Trends in Camels
Globally, we can distinguish a Trend as
- Countries with a decline of the camel population, but except in India, this decline was stopped since the years 2000’s for example in China, Turkey, and Middle-east (5 % of the total camel population) (5 % of the total camel population)
- Countries with a regular growth of their population (North and Horn of Africa, Pakistan, and Central Asia) (50 % of the total camel population)
- Countries with important increase after slight decline which concern Syria and Bahrein only (1.5 % of the total camel population)
- Countries with sudden increase after a long regular growth (Sahel countries and Arabian Peninsula) ( 43.5 % of the total camel population)
New implantations are also observable
After importing some camels in Australia in the XIXth century, a large camel population is nowadays present in this country. Camels were also imported in arid countries of Southern Africa (Namibia, Botswana). But a recent keen interest can be observed in Western countries (USE, Europe), mainly for touristic attraction, but more and more for milk production.
Globally, it is expected that climatic changes are giving a chance for camels to take more place in the future world.Dr. Faye