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Inadequate contribution of commercial harvest to the management of feral camels in Australia

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In central Australia feral camels constitute a growing environmental problem. The current control solution is population reduction to protect key environmental assets, mainly through culling by shooting to waste and some small-scale commercial harvest. From knowledge of the 2008 population and projected rates of increase, this paper simulates the effects on the population of a range of annually increasing harvest rates, and assesses the practicability of achieving commercial harvests at rates high enough to control numbers. We conclude that commercial harvest will not in the near future be a major tool for feral camel management, although it could generate economic benefits to some stakeholders, such as Aboriginal communities, and reduce local camel populations in targeted areas. In the short to medium term, large-scale culling is required to the point where the growing commercial harvest will provide a sufficient environmental control.
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Keywords: Australia; commercial harvest; feral camels; stakeholders

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Charles Darwin University, PO Box 795 Alice Springs, NT 0871, Australia

Publication date: October 1, 2013

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