THE WILD CAMEL
A NEW SPECIES
In 2008 the Wild Camel was designated a NEW and SEPARATE species by scientists at the Institute of Population Genetics, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna. The scientific paper concludes:
‘Based on genetic and historical evidences the Mongolian Wild Camel (Camelus ferus) is a distinct species with an independent evolutionary history and clearly separated from its domestic relative, the Bactrian camel (Camelus bactrianus). However, Hybridization between wild and domestic Bactrian camels occurs and threatens the unique gene pool of the Wild Camel population. Future genetic and ecological studies should also include the highly endangered Wild Camels in China. Conserving the genetic integrity and uniqueness of the last Wild Camels must rank among the highest priorities for developing conservation strategies in both Mongolia and China.’
For years critics have alleged the Wild Camel was only a Silk Road runaway – a feral camel. Now what WCPF has been saying since 1993 has proved to be correct. Their discovery is based on genetic tests carried out on hair and skin samples that WCPF has sent from both the Mongolian and Chinese deserts where the wild camel has its habitat. The separation is thought to have taken place over 700,000 years ago.