KEY POINTS

  • Wild Camel is the official name (Camelus ferus), it is not a wild Bactrian camel (very important) as was originally thought but a different species entirely.

  • Critically endangered – Red Book listed

  • Approximately 450 in Mongolia (population slowly rising)

  • Approximately 600 in China (population stable)

  • Less than 500 Wild Camels survive in 500,000 sq.miles of Mongolia

  • No other country in the world has Wild Camels in the wild and only in Mongolia are they in captivity

  • 1922, the two populations were permanently separated by road, rail links in China.

  • 55,000 sq kms reserve in Mongolia established by UNEP in 1979 (Great Gobi Strictly Protected Area “A”)

  • 155, 000 sq kms reserve in China established by WCPF in Lop Nur, China’s former nuclear test area in 2003 (Lop Nur Wild Camel National Nature Reserve)

  • John Hare first foreigner to enter Lop Nur in 1995 for 45 years

  • He co-founded Wild Camel Protection Foundation in 1997 and has undertaken seven six-week expeditions into the area – five on domestic camels – at the time there were still imperfectly mapped areas. No water – no people.

  • John Hare/WCPF obtained the funding for the Chinese reserve from the World Bank ($650,000)

  • In China (not Mongolia) wild camels exist in the heartland on salt water with a higher content of salt than sea water.

  • A camel – any camel – has a stronger immune system than and other large mammal, which is a very relevant field of study in relation to current pandemics.

  • In Lop Nur wild camels survived 43 atmospheric nuclear tests with no untoward effects that we could see.

  • Mongolia wild camel breeding centre established by WCPF in 2004 with 8 wild camels

  • Today there are 35 and the centre is full with 6 births expected in the spring.

  • There were two successful releases of eight wild camels into the desert in 2012 and 2015

  • New extension to the breeding centre at Toli Bulag has been approved by all relevant local authorities

  • Funding is URGENTLY REQUIRED (£35,000) so that the fence at the new breeding centre can be built before a nucleus group of Wild Camels can be moved to the new site in September before the onset of the harsh Mongolian winter.

  • The trek will take 10-14 days

  • Please see: www.wildcamels.com and www.johnhare.org.uk