Newhaven Station camels & weekend sightings

Subject: Newhaven Station camels & weekend sightings
From: Andrew Taylor <>
Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2001 10:11:33 +1000 (EST)
On Sun, 25 Mar 2001, Bill Moorhead wrote:
> The manager was very happy having them there.My question is,will they be
> allowed to continue given Birds Australia(of which I happily made a
> small contribution) has bought it?They mentioned on the progamme that
> the camels ate 250 of the 300 known plants found there and multiply by
> 6% per annum(I think)Maybe they don't know that the camels are to go ?

A friend of mine from the Uni of Queensland has been working with the
two German biologists.  His interest is physiology - apparently there
are some important results in animal physiology based on the study of
captive camels.  There are concerns that measurements of camel in a zoo
might not be an accurate reflection of wild animals.  Hence they are
collecting  physiological data such as temperature and heart rate from
wild camels over an extended period - not an easy undertaking.  My friend
was very pleased that Newhaven had been bought by Birds Australia.

Wild camel population are said to double every 10 years, perhaps less
in good conditions.  This is equivalent to a 7+% growth per annum.

Australia's feral camel population is substantial.  My
back-of-the-envelope calculation is that camel biomass will exceed
that of the red kangaroo in the next decade.  It looks they may become
the dominant herbivore over a substantial part of inland Australia.
I don't think much is known about the effects of feral camels.

Andrew Taylor

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