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    09027b: Protecting the rangelands environment from feral camels

    Camels wander through the WA rangelands. Courtesy David Warburton, Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia
    Camels wander through the WA rangelands. Courtesy David Warburton, Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia

    More than one million feral camels reside in the Rangelands region of Western Australia and populations are expected to double in the next eight to 10 years. Camels inflict enormous damage to arid and semi-arid eco-systems, Indigenous cultural sites, remote communities and pastoral properties, particularly in times of drought.

    Without management, camel populations have the potential to persist in large and growing numbers in already occupied sites and to expand into presently unoccupied areas.

    This project links with a $1.5 million project funded through Caring for our Country. Staff will be trained in aerial culling techniques to enable the removal of 12 000 camels from the rangelands with the aim of reducing their impact on pastoral, Indigenous and environmental assets, and reducing potential biosecurity risks associated with their presence.

    In the longer term, the project will lead to recovery of the desert and rangelands, restoration of sites of cultural significance, and increased regional tourism.

    Investment: $ 200 000
    Delivery organisation: Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia
    Project duration: December 2009 - March 2011
    Location: Pilbara region

    Major project achievements

    • Eight staff completed Aerial Platform Marksman training.
    • More than 8300 camels removed from the Rudall River area.
    • Relationships developed between government and traditional owners through control activities. Development and participation in the Caring for our Country Australian Feral Camel Management Project.
    • High-density feral camel areas were identified for future reference. This should significantly reduce the cost of future control efforts.

    Project partners

    CY O'Connor TAFE; Caring for our Country; Australian Feral Camel Management Project; Department of Environment and Conservation; Australian Vertebrate Pests Committee Aerial Shooting Technical Group; Martu and Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa communities and pastoralists

    More information

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