The Wildlife of the World’s Deserts

The Atacama, the Driest Place on Earth The coastal strip south of Chile and Peru, extending over 1,500 kilometres in total and to a width of 180 kilometres, is where the Atacama Desert forms a complex of arid lands. The extreme aridity of the region is the result of the offshore Humboldt Current, which draws […]

The Wildlife of the World’s Deserts – Part 10 – The Americas Cont’d — naturetails

The Wildlife of The World’s Deserts – Part 1 – Asia — naturetails

Last week my post was about the desert Antarctica. This week I am following with the deserts of Asia. Posts about all of the world’s deserts will follow in the next few weeks. For thousands of years, deserts had power over our imagination as a vast and barren terrain, leading into the unknown and unseen […]

The Wildlife of The World’s Deserts – Part 1 – Asia — naturetails

The Wildlife of the World’s Deserts – Part 11 – The Desierto de Tabernas – Europe — naturetails

Desierto de Tabernas The closest Europe has to a true desert is located in south-east Spain, some 20 kilometres north of the city of Almeria. It is a shallow depression between the Sierra de Los Filabres to the north and the Sierra Alhamilla to the south. This was the area’s fossilised coral reefs that during […]

The Wildlife of the World’s Deserts – Part 11 – The Desierto de Tabernas – Europe — naturetails

ITUTI~The Traditional Milk Product of Ethiopia

During the traditional production of ituti, fresh milk is collected into a well-smoked fermented vessel, called gorfa. Gorfa is woven from fibers of selected plants into a lidded container with a capacity up to three liters.

I shall try in this series to write about the traditional milk products from the different parts of the world, especially from the traditional livestock breeds. As a first piece of information, I introduce you with the Ituti, a fermented camel product from Ethiopia.

ITUTI

It is a staple food, white color, and a very solid appearance that resembles that of traditional white cheese. It has attractive texture and flavor and has a reasonable shelf life at ambient temperature, making it one of the most desired food in the region. Ititu consumed as a side dish with traditional porridge or thin-baked cereal chips. It can also be consumed as food or drink alone. It is considered as one of the special foods and served to many respected guests as well as to weaning-age children and the elderly.

During the traditional production of ituti, fresh milk is collected into a well-smoked fermented vessel, called gorfa. Gorfa is woven from fibers of selected plants into a lidded container with a capacity up to three liters. A new gorfa is washed with hot water, air-dried; and just prior to use it is rinsed with fresh milk and then smoked for a few minutes with pieces of burning Acacia nilotica (or other plants) placed inside. The lid of gorfa is treated with leaves of Ocimum basilicum for cleaning and imparting desirable flavor to the product. A small volume of milk (up to 300 ml) is added to the gorfa and is allowed to ferment naturally.

Gorfa, the milk container in Africa.

When the milk coagulates, whey is removed daily by a wooden pipette after which an additional volume of fresh milk is added. The process of whey removal and addition of fresh milk is repeated several times until the product is concentrated enough and is ready for consumption. The curd and the lids are occasionally checked visually for mold and any mold growth on the surface of the curd is removed. The lid is also washed with hot water and smoke is applied to it before replacing it.

If the product is stored for a long time without refrigeration this can lead to over-souring and risk of spoilage, due to the high growth of surface mold. This can be controlled by adding an amount of roasted Trigonella foenumgraceum powder that is pre-mixed with fresh raw milk and/or melted ghee, prior to serving.

The milk is allowed to ferment for a long time of up to 14 days and can be stored from about two months to three months.” Very delicious and healthy products compensate for the food shortage in difficult times of the year.

The Camel Milk Story from the Gobi Desert Mongolia

Gobi is a heaven on the earth. The Gobi desert is stretched from Mongolia to Chinese Mongolia. The desert is home to the very beautiful Bactrian camel. In the link provided, you can see very fascinating pictures from the Gobi desert. The author visited the Bactrian camel of the region and made this report.

Gobi desert is home to the highly adapted livestock species and camel is one of the most important and incredible livestock of the region. In this blog you can enjoy great information about the Bactraian camels, their milk and role in the Mongolian culture. You can see the beautiful pictures of the birds, trees, animals, people and desert in this blog.

Enjoy reading and seeing the manuscript and pictures respectively.https://arkbiodiv.com/2018/06/21/the-camel-milk-story-from-the-gobi-desert-mongolia/amp/

Camel is Intelligent and Loyal~ An Eye Opening Story

A loyal camel walked more than a 100 kilometers to reach back to previous owner. See how intelligent the camel is? A story from the Inner Mongolia. A worth to read story. The camel sacrified her health and faced a lot of troubles while walking in lonliness and desert. All the body was injured and the camel became so weak. The Bactrian camel consumed her 2 humps during walking.

A loyal camel walked more than a 100 kilometers to reach back to previous owner. See how intelligent the camel is? A story from the Inner Mongolia. A worth to read story. The camel sacrified her health and faced a lot of troubles while walking in lonliness and desert. All the body was injured and the camel became so weak. The Bactrian camel consumed her 2 humps during walking.
The retuned camel with her previous masters.

According to a viral Pear video, the homesick camel walked more than 100 kilometres through the desert, wading through mountains, crossing highways and fences before finally approaching its old home, which was when the herdsman spotted it. It certainly had the scars to show for its adventure, and when its former owners heard about its risky journey, they decided to take it back.

For details, please go to the link: https://www.odditycentral.com/animals/loyal-camel-walks-100-km-through-desert-to-return-to-previous-owners-after-being-sold.html?fbclid=IwAR1q5wX3JQRH8EcSChWOjf5d6eIvRJ6sDpe68jL2EJXCuSWSPjnfm_SYvgE

The Golden Beauty of Camel

Camels are beautiful and very much resemble to their habitat like other animals. The golden red sand of the Alain gives a very special shade to the Arabian camels. To see the stunning beauty, go to the link below.

Please like, share and comment our page, camel4all. Also, support our cause with some suggestions for improvement and better outlook of the video and channel.

Type of Milk Preference

This survey is part of a study to know the preference for type of milk. Please vote for your choice and help in getting a clear picture about the choice of people for type of milk.

We conducted a survey about the milk preference both on LinkedIn and Twitter. There was a noticeable response on LinkedIn but very little interest on Twitter. I hereby again share this survey to know about the milk preference. Please participate and share in your circles so we can better understand the true picture.

Is Converting Desert into Cropland a Wise Decision?

My take on this issue is not for criticism but for the development of understanding about the deserts and starting a debate to have the technical opinion on this important topic.

Recently watched a video, Chinese colleagues are converting desert into cropland. Developing deserted lands is a very good idea but converting into croplands is rather a bad idea. I personally do not like this idea because of some reasons, given in the ensuing lines.

  1. Deserts are not zero valued or waste land. The ancestors of many staple foods’ seed and livestock species are inhibited in the desert.
  2. The deserts are historically and traditionally grazing lands. The precious and highly adapted and multipurpose native livestock evolved into the present day breeds in the desert. Such livestock is the answer to the difficult and complex challenges of the climate change.
  3. Deserts not only inhibits the precious plants and animal genetic resources but provides fascinating beauty to the landscape.
  4. Deserts have their own identity on the surface of the earth. It provides unique environments to many seasonal and migratory animals in different time periods of the year.
  5. Deserts play role in the weathering and energy flow of the planet (though not many references).
  6. A corporate and massive agric farming will destroy the overall health of the desert and the precious floral genetic resources can be vanished as well as the animal genetic resources.
Desert is very beautiful with its sand dunes and unique camels.

Then what can be done the best with the desert?

  1. The top suggestion can be the re-vegetation of the wild species of flora which are already adapted to the specific climatic conditions of the relevant desert/s.
  2. Fixation of the dunes, minimizing the intensity of desert storms, and covering certain/specific areas with the organic layer cover can be revolution.
  3. The innovation and science loving countries can use smart and sustainable methodologies to provide organic cover to certain areas of the desert. Like in UAE, the camel manure can be use to make organic covering bricks to cover the sand. https://camel4all.blog/2016/02/02/camels-dungzfrom-waste-to-a-worthwhile-farming-agent/amp/
  4. The organic pads can be used as a ball for seeds. The seeds will grow very well in the organic pads and will sustain its growth and development in the coming years. Enveloping seeds (native to desert) into the organic pads like the farmers practice in floating agric in Bangladesh. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5MKlSoubOY will bring a revolution in the desert.
  5. Plantation of native trees and bushes like Prosopis, acacia, and haloxyllon, etc. can provide very good woody cover to the desert and minimize the intensities of the storms.
  6. Such vegetation in return can support feeding to the native livestock and wildlife.
Richgreen Desert after the Rain
The flora is the most important genetic resource in the whole planet earth but the deserts even need more floral diversity to give life and beauty to the desert.

Important Note

My take on this issue is not for criticism but for the development of understanding about the deserts and starting a debate to have the technical opinion on this important topic.

The desert vegetation including trees are playing multipurpose roles, from food to protection.

Pawanda/Kuchis Need Policy Level Support.

Pawanda are the custodian of the world’s very precious livestock breeds, mainly comprised of sheep, goat, camel, donkey and chickens. They travel along with their livestock back and forth the Suleiman Piedmont &Indus delta (Pakistan) in winter and central highlands of Afghanistan in summer.

Recently, came to know a post about the Dutch Committee for Afghanistan’s project on the skill development in animal health of the Kuchis in Afghanistan. Ellen Geerlings, a friend and known to me since last decade told me about the good work done with the Kuchis. I responded to the post with some insight I have about the issue. Here in the following lines, are the comments and replies of me and Ellen. I share for a positive debate and highlighting the issues and miseries of the Kochis both in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

According to Ellen, the project covers the following objectives.

CLAP project started in 2014 in three provinces; Kabul, Logar and Parwan. The project will cover four new provinces including Balkh, Nangarhar, Baghlan and Herat. The project will also cover the main migration routes by training Kuchi veterinary para professionals, these will accompany the Kuchi and their herds on their migration route and provide animal health care services.

Author’s Response

Dear Ellen Geerlings and Daud, I’m basically from Kuchi Afghan tribes. Kuchis are settled both in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Our fore-forefather travel with their livestock into the central highlands of Afghanistan (Nawar) and back to the Suleiman Piedmont in winter. Some long traveling kuchis (in Pashtu we call PAWANDA) even travel to Sindh and Punjab provinces of Pakistan in winter. Kuchis or Pawanda are very excellent livestock keepers. They travel on their historical routes. They understand animal health, husbandry, value-added products, marketing, and the geographical and weathering understanding of the region. I have learned a lot from them in my lifetime. In my view, the Kuchis need little help in animal health (except vaccination), product development, and feeding of their livestock. The products made by the Kuchis are highly demanded by the consumers, ranging from Ghuarri (ghee) to Korath (curth/curd) and the sheep meat to the wool products. They still earn enough money from their livestock. Here I come to the main and important point. Their main problem is their zero presence at the policy making table. They are never heard when policies are made for them. They need policy-level support.

Camel Caravan of Afghan nomads in Musakhel Balochistan.

Ellen Response

Dear Prof Kakar, Thank you for your valuable insights. I remember you are from the Kuchi community yourself. I do think the project is contributing to the well-being and resilience of the Kuchi as it is targeted to the most marginalised families within the Kuchi community. The paravets are placed in areas where animal healthcare services are lacking. These paravets receive a 6 month training and will return to their own communities where they are known and respected. They use high quality vaccins as opposed to the vaccines available in markets which are often overdate, diluted and/or of very low quality. You do have a very good point however; (more) policy level support is needed. This is not only the case in Afghanistan but in a wide range of other areas as well. I remember the Raika nomads in Rajasthan frequently being disadvantaged by agricultural policies resulting in their grazing areas being encroached upon, migration routes being blocked, increased tension between farmers and nomads and decreasing water availability due to indiscriminate drilling of water wells by farmers. The CLAP project has a policy support component and a Kuchi board that has advised the project. But policy development is a very slow process.

Author’s Reply

Ellen Geerlings Thanks for the detailed reply. I appreciate the great objectives and achievements of the project. My previous response was not completed because of the limited space in the LinkedIn comments tab. Policy level support is very important and their prospects at the policy level must be taken into account. Their main problem is now the restrictions in their movements both in Afghanistan and Pakistan and also on the Durand line which we Pashtun call it bad line (dividing us). They also need support in finding marketing opportunities at a global level to have enough money for sustaining this great and historic animal husbandry. I personally, introduced some products from our traditional livestock systems in the slow food event in Turin Italy. The people showed very great interest in the products. We have very special and tasty Curd/Korath, Rozgani and Kakari. Our sheep meat is special, unique taste and aroma. We dry it and the product name is PERSENDA/Landi. The ark of taste appreciated the texture, taste, and aroma. you can read about the dry meat and can use the link as a reference. Very best regards and thanks for your patience. https://camel4all.blog/persendadry-meat-cousine-of-pashtun-afghan-2/

Camel Peronia in Japan

Happy world camel day from Japan

A letter from Yosuke Fuchiwaki (Tokyo JAPAN)

Hello, I am Japanese lover camel. We operate a homepage for Japanese camel mania called “Camel Paranoia”. (However, the explanation is in Japanese).
There are many pictures of camels I met during my trip, and camel goods that are hard to find in Japan.
Since it is World Camel Day today, I would appreciate if you could link to the CAMEL4ALL website.

Thank you.

My Site “Camel Paranoia”
http://www.eva.hi-ho.ne.jp/fuchi/

Yosuke Fuchiwaki (Tokyo JAPAN)

http://www.eva.hi-ho.ne.jp/fuchi/

History of World Camel Day (22 June)

In 2009, the author conceptualized the idea of a world camel day (WCD) to aware the people about the importance of camel as a food security agent in climate change scenario. From 2009 to 2012 WCD was celebrated in the province of Balochistan (the important habitat of camel, 50% share of the Pakistan’s 1 million population of camels). Slowly and gradually, we earned the support at country as well as global level.

Camel is a gift of nature, gifted to the drought stricken people of the planet earth. The human wisdom decided to domesticate the animal which can cope with the harsh and hostile ecosystems emerged with the onset of the natural climate change thousands of years before. The wisdom worked very well and selected the incredible camel for this task. The main and the important task given to the camel was to provide food in the conditions where other type of livestock had difficulties to sustain.

Camel love the vegetation of the desert. The plant icecream species for camel Tubulis

Camel is therefore considered to be the only livestock domesticated for the milk production. Though, later on the burden on camel was increased and many more tasks were given to the camel, like transportation, racing, meat, and others, etc. Luckily, camel is turning back to its original tasks, mainly because of its resilience & sustainability (sustainable milk yield) and the awareness about healing powers of camel milk.

Conceptulization of the Camel Association of Pakistan (CAP) in 2008

When I (Dr. Raziq) finished my PhD research work and started dissertation write up, many ideas emerged and I deeply realized that though the camel is very important animal but there is very less support and appreciation for the camel and camel keepers both at country and international levels. So, I started conceptualization of a struggle to bring the camel in the notice of policy makers at all levels. The idea of CAP was to take the first but the important step to highlight the importance of camel at the country levels. Unfortunately, there was very less or negligible level of support for the camel and its keepers.

That time, I had a job in the dept. of Livestock and Dairy Development (L&DD Dept.) Balochistan but on study leave for PhD in the dept. of Livestock Management, University of Agriculture Faisalabad (LMUAF), Pakistan. I presented the idea of a Camel Association in Pakistan to my mentor/supervisor Dr. Muhmmad Younas. Prof. Dr. Muhmmad Younas was Chairman of (LMUAF). He agreed with the idea and supported me at all levels, I once again thank to him.

In the month of September, 2008, I had consecutive meetings with Mr. Abdul Salam Baloch (Secretary government of Balochistan, Livestock and Dairy Development Department (L&DD Dept) and discussed about the role of native livestock breeds, especially the camel. As camel is one of the most important livestock in the province Balochistan and playing a pivotal role in the livelihood of the people, so it was not hard to convince him on supporting a camel organization at provincial and country level.

In the meanwhile, other colleagues and friends came forward and supported the idea of a country organization on camel. Dr. Zia ur Rehman Kakar was a great support and the most active person in the process of the Camel Association of Pakistan (CAP). Dr. Zia Kakar is currently working on his PhD dissertation in the university of vet and animal sciences (UVAS) Lahore. Ultimately, in December 2008, we, laid the foundation of the CAP in the LM departement UAF.

Further details of the CAP will be shared in another article.

WCD 22 June

As I mentioned before, while compiling my PhD work, reading piles of books and articles about the camels and camel related aspects, I realized that there must be some day, mentioning and realizing the importance of the incredible camel.

In 2009, the author conceptualized the idea of a world camel day (WCD) to aware the people about the importance of camel as a food security agent in climate change scenario.

Why we chose the date of 22nd June?

In its original habitat, 21 June is the longest and hottest day of the year, in the northern hemisphere of the globe. Camel sustains its abilities of production in such harsh and hostile environments and adapts to the soaring heat and long thirsty day. We should have chosen the 21st of June as world camel day but it is specified for the world father day. So, we decided to skip 21 and selected 22nd June as the world camel day. The difference in day length is only 2 seconds between the 21st and 22nd June. For further reading about the history of the world camel day, please go to the link below.http://camel4all.info/index.php/2020/06/21/why-a-world-camel-day-on-22-june/

Camel is the most important livestock in the desert and drylands

We Start our Journey in 2009

From 2009 to 2012 WCD was celebrated in the province of Balochistan (the important habitat of camel, 50% share of the Pakistan’s 1 million population of camels). Slowly and gradually, we earned the support at country as well as global level.

Here, I must praise the role of the very important camel colleagues like Ilse Kohler Rollefson, Prof. Dr. Yagil (the late), Dr. Abdul Salam Abax (KSA), and many other colleagues. It is very hard to mention the names of all the people who supported me in this noble cause.

In 2013, we launched WCD facebook page and received appreciation and support from all over the world. The next year, in 2014 WCD started celebrating in the different corners of the globe. The same year, LMUAF under the supervision of Dr. Younas launched Dachi camel milk brand in the university and invited the famous camel lady Ilse Kohlor Rollefson to attend the WCD 2014 and inauguratethe Dachi milk.

Screen shot from the blog of Ilse Kohlor Rollefson.

In the comming years after 2014, the idea of WCD was taken up by many people and organizations and the details are very lengthy. I do not want to engage your for longer time, therefore, I’m hereby sharing some pictures about the WCD celebrated at global level.

The famous newspaper The National mentioned WCD 22 June, the important camel day in UAE. https://www.thenational.ae/lifestyle/travel/world-camel-day-12-bizarre-facts-about-the-uae-s-beloved-beast-1.877476

On this world camel day 22 June, 2020 there are many evenets and one of the most important one is the Virtual University Symposium in Pakistan. https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_eDA5mfYOQnmi8h18xFfksw

We hereby cardially invite you to join us in this important symposium and learn about the different aspects of camel from the world’s reknowned camel scientists and lovers.

The flyer of the WCD symposium.

The King of the Gobi – Wild Camel Needs your Support for Conservation

WCPF urgently needs funds for the establishment of a second wild camel breeding centre as the breeding centre at Zakhyn Us in Mongolia has reached its capacity of 30 wild camels. It was started in 2004 with just eight wild camels and now has 35 even though 8 have been released into their natural habitat. In addition, 5 new wild camel calves were born this year and all are thriving.

At the eve of the this world camel day, 22nd June 2020, I appeal you to support the conservation of the world’s unique large wild animal, the Camelus bactrianus ferus. The world camel protection fund (WCPF) urgently needs funds for the establishment of a second wild camel breeding centre as the breeding centre at Zakhyn Us in Mongolia has reached its capacity of 30 wild camels. It was started in 2004 with just eight wild camels and now has 35 even though 8 have been released into their natural habitat. In addition, 5 new wild camel calves were born this year and all are thriving.To raise these urgent funds, WCPF commissioned a portrait  of a wild bull camel from Charlotte Williams who is a highly regarded wildlife artist with a fast-growing reputation. The portrait is entitled “The King of the Gobi”.

The portrait is an excellent likeness and embodies all the resilient and stoical characteristics of the bull wild camel. We have published a limited edition of 100 prints signed by the artist and these are available for £200. To obtain a print please go to the WCPF website www.wildcamels.com or click on the link:   https://www.wildcamels.com/the-king-of-the-gobi-wild-camel-portrait/ The original is also for sale at £7,000 – a price that Charlotte is normally paid for her artwork. The medium is polychromos colour pencil and the size is 83 cm x 63 cm (unframed). If you would like to obtain this excellent print and thereby contribute to our new wild camel breeding centre at Toli Bulag which has Mongolian local government support – then please please click on the website and link above.

Milk is not Just Food, Commodity, or Business

Milk is not just food, commodity, or business. It’s a world of small farmers, women and men, herders and shepherds, people of courage and strong traditions. They say: “If you want to be a dairy farmer, you’ve got to sleep on your feet”. Today, when we are celebrating the International Milk Day, my thoughts of gratitude and admiration go to the dairy farmers of every corner of the Planet Earth. Written by Inna Punda

YES, milk is not only food but culture and institute. There is a lot of knowledge revolving around the milk. Milk is a very integral entity of the livestock keepers’ communities. Milk is a source of cash income for the world’s poor and rural women. Milk provides strong bonding between humans and animals and the environment. Milk is the most nutritious and delicious food. I love camel milk.

Milk is not Just Food, Commodity, or Business

The major share of the milk still comes from small farmers.

Traditional Animal Genetic Resources for Food Security Under Climate Change Influence

YES, milk is not only food but culture and institute. There is a lot of knowledge revolving around the milk. Milk is a very integral entity of the livestock keepers’ communities. Milk is a source of cash income for the world’s poor and rural women. Milk provides strong bonding between humans and animals and the environment. Milk is the most nutritious and delicious food. I love camel milk.

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