A few months back, we decided to donate a portion of the proceeds from our Clever Camel yarn to support the Wild Camel Protection Foundation (WCPF), a non-profit that’s doing incredible work and which we’re terribly excited to support!
The “sole aim of the Wild Camel Protection Foundation is to protect the critically endangered wild camel (Camelus ferus) and its habitat in the fragile and unique desert ecosystems in the Gobi desert” (located along the western border region of Mongolia and Inner Mongolia). There are an estimated 1,000 wild camels remaining, making them more endangered than the Giant Panda.
For this year, your purchases of Clever Camel yarn enabled us to contribute to the protection and feeding costs of this cute little fellow born last year (below right). With your help, we hope to continue and expand our support of Wild Camels in the years forward (maybe adding a cousin, sibling to the flock we support!)
Some interesting facts about the Wild Camel (and why you should care about this incredible species):
- The Wild Camel (camelus ferus) is a distinct species: “In 2008, genetic testing carried out by the Veterinary University in Vienna on samples sent by WCPF from both China and Mongolia proved the wild camel is an entirely new and separate species that evolved over 700,000 years ago – and not, as was previously thought, a domesticated Bactrian camel turned feral.”
- The Wild Camel is a remarkably resilient creature, having the ability to survive some of the least hospitable and extreme environments on earth: “The wild camel had adapted and managed to survive in Xinjiang Province in the Gashun Gobi Desert and the Desert of Lop. For 45 years these two deserts were the Chinese nuclear test site. In spite of this, the wild camel not only survived the effects of radiation but also bred naturally. In some areas in the absence of fresh water, it adapted to drinking salt water, which had a higher saline content than sea water. Domestic Bactrian camels cannot tolerate such a high level of salt. Research to date does not show conclusively how the wild camel is absorbing the salt water and secreting the salt.” “Wild Camels can survive extremes of temperature varying from -40 Celsius to plus 55 Celsius (-40 Fahrenheit to 131 Fahrenheit).” Today, they are threatened by man’s activities.
- Unique gene pool for research: “The gene pool of the wild camels, because of their isolation and lack of interbreeding with domestic Bactrian camels, has much greater diversity and a wider range of adaptability and capacity for random mutations. This gene pool contains rich source materials for a number of scientific studies.
- Saving wild camels means saving their fragile desert ecosystem: “As part of its programme to protect the wild camel and its fragile habitat, WCPF has developed an environmental education programme” to raise public awareness in the local communities about endangered species and also to cover the threat of desertification both on the ecosystem and the many rare species of flora and fauna.
For more information, visit:
- Wild Camel Protection Foundation
- John Hare’s article in National Geographic about WCPF conservation efforts
- Richly informative video documentary about The Princes with 2 Humps
- Jane Goodall’s Good News for the Critically Endangered Wild Camel
(all photos courtesy of the Wild Camel Protection Foundation)
And last but not least, a happy thanksgiving to all who celebrate it! We are truly grateful for your support, words of encouragement, and kindness.