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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 32(1)

Perceptions of pastoralists and conservation reserve managers on managing feral camels and their impacts

B. Zeng A, G. P. Edwards A B

A Department of Natural Resources, Environment, The Arts and Sport, PO Box 1120, Alice Springs, NT 0871, Australia.
B Corresponding author. Email: glenn.edwards@nt.gov.au
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The perceptions of people living within the current range of feral camels and involved in the pastoral industry and conservation reserve management were assessed through a questionnaire survey. The survey was designed to gauge understanding about the distribution and abundance of feral camels, perspective on camel impacts, and attitudes towards different camel management options. Camels occurred on 74.2% of pastoral properties and 51.4% of reserves that were surveyed. Camels were reported to be increasing on more than 50% of pastoral properties and 88% of reserves and were reported to cause damage on most properties where they occurred. The total monetary value of this damage (including management to mitigate it) was estimated to be $7.15 million per annum on the pastoral estate and $0.37 million per annum across the conservation estate within or on the margins of the camel range. On the pastoral estate, ~$2.40 million of the damage per annum was to infrastructure whereas production losses amounted to $3.42 million per annum. A minority of pastoral properties and reserves reported tangible benefits that accrued from selling camels, eating camels and using camels for natural resource management activities including weed control. The monetary value of the benefit was estimated to be about $0.58 million per annum across the pastoral estate, compared with ~$34 379 per annum across the conservation estate. Pastoralists and reserve managers generally saw a need to control camels and their impacts and currently play an active role in this regard. Both landholder groups favoured culling and commercial use to manage camel impacts but were comfortable using all of the available approaches and willing to consider new ones.

Keywords: stakeholder.

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