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Camels and camelids (including alpacas, vicuñas, guanacos and llamas)

United Arab Emirates BorneanTiger Offline
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#1
( This post was last modified: 11-08-2019, 11:11 PM by BorneanTiger )

The national animal of the UAE is the Arabian or white oryx (Oryx leucoryx). Even if the oryx was chosen for the purpose of conservation, this may surprise you, because one animal that comes to mind when talking about the Arabian Peninsula or the Middle East is the camel, particularly the one-humped dromedary or Arabian camel (Camelus dromedarius). Given the camel's ability to travel large distances, without having to drink water for at least 3 days even in hot circumstances, it was a preferred beast of burden for Arabs or Middle Easterners for travelling large distances across the harsh deserts of the area, besides the first European immigrants to Australia, who took along with them Asian cameleers to help them explore the continent.

An 1898 drawing of travellers in the Australian Bush being given directions by Aborigines. Credit: Getty

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Nowadays, with modern transport, Arabs, Middle Easterners, Asians and Australians don't need camels (whether single-humped dromedaries or double-humped Bactrians (Camelus bactrianus; as opposed to the wild Camelus ferus)) to travel large distances, but they nevertheless retain their agricultural and cultural significance, besides being useful for tourism, similar to cattle and horses put together: https://gulfnews.com/uae/camels-a-key-pa...e-1.603548

A traditional camel market in Al Ain City in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, located on the UAE's eastern border with Oman, approximately 100 km (62 miles) south of Dubai and 100 km east of Abu Dhabi City, which draws traders from places like Afghanistan, Pakistan and Somalia, and customers from both the UAE and neighbouring Oman: https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/a...index.htmlhttps://www.flickr.com/photos/ciamabue/7088179711/

Credit: Jon Connell
   

Camel racing in Dubai: https://comingsoon.ae/sports-leisure/cam...ing-dubai/ 

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Camel milk by The Camel Milk Co. Australia: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-48935371 

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Memphis Tours, Egypt: https://www.memphistours.com/Egypt/Excur...amids-area 

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What's more, the camel's relationship with humans, whether for friendly or unfriendly, stretches back thousands of years, as evidenced by an archaeological site in the remote western region of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, which was discovered in 2008. This site is in the paleontological Baynunah Formation, dating to the Upper Miocene, and it was where humans of the Late Stone Age used flint to massacre a group of camels gathered around a lake about 6,000 years ago, when the Arabian Peninsula had more vegetation and fauna than now, somewhat resembling Africa. Considering the great age of the site, the Department of Culture and Tourism of Abu Dhabi reckoned that the camel was first domesticated in what is now the UAE: https://tcaabudhabi.ae/DataFolder/report...df#page=27, https://abudhabiculture.ae/en/discover/p...camel-site, https://www.emirates247.com/news/emirate...1-1.647488 

Baynunah camel-kill site; credit: WAM

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United Arab Emirates BorneanTiger Offline
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#2
( This post was last modified: 11-01-2019, 03:28 PM by BorneanTiger )

Forward from here, considering the importance of the camel to deserts, one might consider an image of camels surrounded by natural greenery, particularly in the Arabian Peninsula, to be unsual, but it's possible in the Dhofari mountainous region of southern Oman:

Dromedaries in the Dhofar Mountains near Salalah; credit: Omar AV

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Wadi Darbat near Salalah; credit: Juozas Šalna

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Credit: A1000

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In Al-Qara Mountains, a subrange of the Dhofar; credit: Patano

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United Arab Emirates BorneanTiger Offline
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#3

Female South American puma takes on a guanaco about 3 times her weight: 



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Switzerland Spalea Offline
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#4

@BorneanTiger :

About #3: very spectacular and impressive !  Like 

Guanaco are much more swift than the other camelids...
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United Arab Emirates BorneanTiger Offline
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#5

(11-20-2019, 03:38 PM)BorneanTiger Wrote: Female South American puma takes on a guanaco about 3 times her weight: 




But unfortunately for the dromedary, which is more adapted for surviving in the hot and harsh conditions of deserts ...

7 Asiatic lions attacking a dromedary in Gir Forest, south of Thar Desert:




A famous famous diorama from the 19th Century showing "Barbary lions" attacking a camel with an Arab courier, the mannequin of which was (eerily) discovered to have a real human skull with teeth, apparently from a member of the San community that inhabits Southern Africa, including the Kalahari region: http://www.digitaljournal.com/tech-and-s...cle/484609https://www.ancient-origins.net/artifact...lay-007925

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United Arab Emirates BorneanTiger Offline
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#6

(02-02-2020, 01:56 AM)LazarLazar Wrote: As u guys can see from my posts I LOVE WILD BOVINES
Among them my favourite is the Cape Buffalo
Here is the list
1. Cape Buffalo
2. European Bison
3. Wild Water Buffalo
4. Gaur
5. American Bison
Feel free to tell about your favourite bovine or big herbivore

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the camel is my favourite big herbivore.
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United Arab Emirates BorneanTiger Offline
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#7
( This post was last modified: 02-09-2020, 09:46 PM by BorneanTiger )

Dromedaries in the snow in the region of the Midian Mountains (part of the Sarat range which extends into Yemen) of northwest Saudi Arabia, near the border with Jordan: https://www.indy100.com/article/saudi-ar...eo-9284681, https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-15/s...m/11871048

ABC News on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ABC/status/121735657...frame.html

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Reuters:

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United Arab Emirates BorneanTiger Offline
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#8
( This post was last modified: 02-13-2020, 06:46 PM by BorneanTiger )

This isn't the Dhofari region of southern Oman, but Al-Batinah North Governorate (which borders the UAE, and would thus have some of the Hajar Mountains), in a place called 'Liwa', after heavy rains in the region (including the UAE, as I mentioned here): https://timesofoman.com/article/2704433/...9TkV5c9g7s

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United Kingdom Sully Offline
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#9

Bolivia and Paraguay unite to protect critically endangered guanacos


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The guanaco (Lama guanicoe), the spindly, wild forebear of the llama, ranges across a broad reach of western and southern South America. While the species as a whole is not considered threatened with extinction, low numbers in Bolivia and Paraguay and continued declines there as its habitat is razed for agriculture cloud its future in both countries. But a proposed protected habitat corridor in Bolivia is giving conservationists hope that guanacos may make it there after all.
While once ranging across a large portion of Bolivia, fewer than 200 guanacos live in Bolivia today, according to the most recent estimates.
“In Bolivia, the guanaco is categorized as being critically endangered, that is, a step from extinction,” said biologist Catalina Rivadeneira, coordinator of the innovation laboratory at Natura Foundation Bolivia. “This is due to the small number of individuals. Researchers performed calculations between 2008 and 2011 and estimated that the guanaco population was below 200 individuals in the entire Bolivian Chaco.”

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Researchers estimate fewer than 200 guanacos live in the Bolivian Chaco. Image courtesy of Natura Foundation Bolivia.
The Chaco is an ecoregion of primarily dry forests and savannas shared between Bolivia, Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil. Rivadeneira said the guanaco was considered extinct in Bolivia’s portion of the Andean plateau, which lies to the west of the country’s Chaco region; however, biologist Ángela Nuñez recorded a few individuals there in 2006. Still, the bulk of Bolivia’s scant guanaco population is found in its Chaco region.
But guanacos may not be found there for much longer. One of the most deforested areas of the planet, the Chaco’s sparse forests are disappearing at a quick clip as land is cleared for for soy plantations and cattle ranges and wildfires started by farmers and fueled by climate change rage out of control.
Across the border in Paraguay, guanacos have been very nearly relegated to memory. According to the IUCN, there may be as few as 20 animals left in the country, which lists the species as critically endangered.

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The Bolivian Chaco. Image courtesy of Natura Foundation Bolivia.
María Teresa Vargas, director of Natura Foundation Bolivia, says that the main threat to the guanaco is habitat loss due to agriculture. She adds that poaching has also taken a big toll on populations in Bolivia and Paraguay.
To keep tabs on Paraguay’s sparse population, researchers conducted a monitoring project using camera traps in Médanos de Chaco National Park, which lies right over the Bolivian border. The project is a joint effort between NGOs Guyra Paraguay and Natura Foundation Bolivia.
Thirteen species have been photographed by the project’s camera traps – among them the guanaco.
“This is the first record of the guanaco that we have in the Paraguayan Chaco,” said Viviana Rojas, coordinator of the species conservation program at Guyra Paraguay.
Other species photographed include the jaguar (Panthera onca), giant anteater (Mymecophaga trydactyla), puma (Puma concolor), pampas fox (Lycalopex gymnocercus), Geoffroy’s cat (Leopardus geoffroyi), and collared peccary (Pecari tajacu).

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This guanaco is one of very few that are hanging on in Paraguay. Image courtesy of Guyra Paraguay.
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A jaguar captured by camera traps in Médanos de Chaco National Park. Photo courtesy of Guyra Paraguay.
Rojas said that monitoring went through the end of 2019, with around 1.5 million images captured.
“The objective of the project is to create an action plan with Bolivia to conserve this species,” she said.
Catalina Rivadeneira, of Natura Foundation Bolivia, said that the camera traps did not photograph any guanacos on the Bolivian side of the park. However, she added that she did see three individuals in an unprotected area there during a separate trip to the region.
This unprotected area may not be unprotected for much longer, however. Together with NGOs, the Guaraní autonomous government has proposed creating a protected area called the Área de Vida del Guajukaka (Spanish and Guaraní for “Area of Life for Guanacos”), which would cover 285,000 hectares (approximately 704,000 acres) within the municipality of Charagua Iyambae.
The Área de Vida del Guajukaka will be the fourth reserve established in the Guaraní autonomous municipality and will be located to the south of Kaa-Iya del Gran Chaco National Park and Integrated Management Natural Area. Other reserves in the area include Otuquis National Park and Integrated Management Natural Area and Ñembi Guasu Conservation Area. Together, these four protected areas would form a continuous habitat corridor.

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The Área de Vida del Guajukaka and three other protected areas in the municipality of Charagua would form a continuous habitat corridor. Image courtesy of Natura Foundation Bolivia.


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Satellite data show large areas of deforestation over the past two decades in the Chaco regions of Bolivia and Paraguay. Last year’s heavy fire season was particularly destructive, but satellite imagery shows agricultural expansion also displaced forest. Conservationists hope the proposed Área de Vida del Guajukaka will help preserve what remains of Bolivia’s Chaco. Source: GLAD/UMD, accessed through Global Forest Watch

The project is in its final phase of consultation with the 28 native communities and 76 ranchers that own land inside the proposed reserve, according to Rivadeneira. Ranchers must agree to cede portions of their land to the reserve, and communities must agree to not clear the land once it’s protected.
“We are receiving the actas comunales[records from communal assemblies] in which they indicate if they agree with the proposal,” Rivadeneira told Mongabay.
Vargas says that establishing the Área de Vida del Guajukaka in coordination with communities and private agricultural landowners represents a big step forward for the creation of conservation spaces.
“We are no longer back in the time when protected areas were defined from a desk,” Vargas said. “We want the commitment of all the actors who make up this area.”
José Ávila is responsible for coordination and planning for the autonomous government of Charagua Iyambae. He says the Guaraní people have decided to set aside 70% of their autonomous municipality for conservation, with the other 30% reserved for economic activities.
“The municipality of Charagua in Bolivia still has the best-conserved ecosystem of Chaco forest, as opposed to what is happening in the Paraguayan, Argentinian, and Brazilian Chaco,” Ávila said. “This is why protecting it is important to ensure the conservation of the species.”
"When the tiger stalks the jungle like the lowering clouds of a thunderstorm, the leopard moves as silently as mist drifting on a dawn wind." -Indian proverb
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United Arab Emirates BorneanTiger Offline
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#10

What I showed above (with the exception of the guanaco (Lama guanicoe)) was the one-humped dromedary (Camelus dromedarius), also known as the Arabian camel, which is present in northern parts of Africa, south-western parts of Asia, and in Australia as an introduced animal. The other 2 species in the Old World camel genus (Camelus) are the (domestic) Bactrian camel (Camelus bactrianus, present in central, western and eastern parts of Asia, partly sympatric with the dromedary) and the Wild Bactrian camel (Camelus ferus, present in remote parts of northwest China and Mongolia). Despite their names, and the fact that they have 2 humps, the latter 2 are different species, with the domestic Bactrian camel having a different ancestor to the extant wild Bactrian camel, similar to the relationship between say domestic dogs and wolves, or domestic and wild horses: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4171754/https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6899786/

Domestic Bactrian camel (C. bactrianus) at Shanghai Zoo, by J. Patrick Fischer

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Wild Bactrian camel (C. ferus) in Xinjiang Province, China, on the Southern Silk Road between Yarkand and Khotan, by John Hill:

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