SAVING THE WILD CAMEL
Featured in David Attenborough's latest documentary
The Perfect Planet and take a look at 'Behind the Scenes'
Recently featured on the latest Attenborough epic 'Perfect Planet', this critically endangered mammal was once widespread across Central Asia. Now the uninhabited Gobi desert is home to the last 1000 Wild Camels on earth, surviving on the very edge of what's possible in one of the driest and most extreme environments in the world.
We need to move a genetically tested pure herd of Wild Camels from the breeding centre at Zakhyn Us to a new site 350 miles away. The reason for a new centre is that Zakhyn Us is full with 35 camels and 6 more calves expected in the spring. It is a measure of our success as we started with eight in 2004 and now have reached capacity.
Transportation by road is too risky, so this group of critically endangered Wild Camels will make the journey to the new breeding centre on foot - first time in history a group of Wild Camels will be herded 350 miles across inhospitable terrain. The trek will take them through the valleys of the beautiful Endriginn Nuruu Mountains, which form the northern border of the Wild Camel habitat in Mongolia. Further to the north, the spectacular Altai Mountains form a photogenic backdrop to the historic journey.
Last year, John Hare OBE asked his great friend Belinda Braithwaite, to accompany the historic trek.
Dr. Adiya Yadamsuren, Mongolia’s foremost Wild Camel expert, WCPF chief herdsman Tsog Erdene, Belinda Braithwaite and a veterinarian will ride Bactrian camels as they lead the group of Wild Camels to the new centre at Toli Bulag. They will sleep in the open air on bedding rolls, but will carry a tent for use in sandstorms and other emergencies. Tsog Erdene’s domestic Bactrian camels will carry food, water and basic provisions.
"Were it not for Adiya's team, it might have disappeared altogether, but because of their work, we may yet save this icon of the Gobi"
As Chairman of WCPF, John Hare OBE was the main driving force behind the planning of the trek. Very sadly, John passed away 28th Jan 2022. In Jane Goodall's words"His spirit will live on. And all who admired his achievements, will work to ensure that the organization he created will continue to carry out its vital work"
The long-term survival of this critically endangered species – the eighth most endangered large mammal on the planet - could depend on this incredible journey’s success.
A maximum of 12 Wild Camels will be translocated. Selection depends on genetic testing to minimise in-breeding. These tests will be carried out in the spring of 2021.
We need YOUR help ...
Stage 1: We urgently need £35,000 to fence the 150 acre enclosure at Toli Bulag breeding centre. The “incredible journey” cannot go ahead until we have secured this stage of the funding. Plus £15,000 to cover the costs of the trek.
An additional £35,000 is needed by August to cover the cost of the new buildings for hay etc.
It costs £55,000 per year to keep the breeding centre running, so the goal is to raise a further £200,000 for the Wild Camel Protection Foundation which will give the new breeding a good start.
So we need your help!