The Hump is actually a gift of nature to the camels to adapt and survive in the hardiest and challenging ecosystems. The humps provide energy and water when there is no vegetation for food. As the Bactrian camels live in the ecosystem which has prolonged dry and prolonged cold weathers, they need double treasure of fats to cope such challenging weathers.
Daniel Asked a Question from Mexico
Dear Daniel, I hope you are fine and well. I’m really fascinated, hearing your very interesting and unique question which was seldom asked before. As much as I know, here is my response. Before going in the details of the answer, I want to tell you one very interesting fact about the camels nomenclature. One hump camel is dromedary (D) camel, if you rotate D towards left side, it will make one hump. The 2 humps camel is Bactrian (B), if you rotate B to left side it will make 2 humps. I’m sure that you know Bactrian camel lives in the region which is one of the harshest and coldest terrains on the earth, one of the coldest and driest deserts. The Hump is actually a gift of nature to the camels to adapt and survive in the hardiest and challenging ecosystems. The humps provide energy and water when there is no vegetation for food. As the Bactrian camels live in the ecosystem which has prolonged dry and prolonged cold weathers, they need double treasure of fats to cope such challenging weathers. The dromedary has one as it is enough for the dry conditions of the year but the other hump is missing because there is not harsh cold weather in its ecosystem.
Camel has got a very special body, physiology and behaviors to not only survive in harsh climatic conditions but to provide food and accessibility to its keepers.
I hope you have got your answer. For further details you can contact me anytime again. Best regards
Trees are very important, that we all know. They are important because of many reasons, i.e. shade, fruits, feed for animals, fixing atmospheric carbon & producing oxygen, fixing land, purifying/halting winds, providing habitats to insects, birds, reptiles and other animals, scenic attraction, herbal value, building material and anymore.
The trees are a precious heritage and social treasures. We have great affection with the trees, especially the ancient trees. Our elders were used to sit under these trees making Jirga (Pashtun traditional jury) and other social event. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jirga
Trees are the fixed tents of the people to sit under and take refuge from scorching sunshine and rains. This tree is an old mulberry tree. Once, our village people were used to feed the mulberry leaves to the silkworms. I remember that golden time.
Go Home Message
Trees are the sign of life and health of mother earth. Unfortunately the human activities are adversely affecting the health of the mother earth. These trees are at the bank of the Karez (traditional water channel), which are drying because of the over exploitation/mining of the water and the overall climate change calamities. We need to save these trees. I met to the many owners/community of the trees to aware them about the importance and to think about the ways to conserve. They are earth loving people and they are ready to save each ancient tree.
The camel is making it space as a sustainable food security animal under changing climate change scenario. One of the most important driving force behind this phenomenon is the precious camel milk (CaM). Lately, many scientific findings have revealed that CaM is a natural remedy for many complex ailments of the human being, ranging from cancer to diabetes and anti-inflammatory to anti-oxidants etc.
International Camel Group with Whatsapp Connection
In the last trimester of the 2018, the author organized an International Forum for Camel Milk and Advocacy on Whatsapp, which is now composed of 120 members from the all parts of the world. Those who are interested to join, can email to the author with their whatsapp number.
The group has a diverse background of the people, from veterinarian, animal scientists, camel lover, interpreters, pastoralists, NGOs, Researcher/scientists, film makers, students to the business people. This year, the WCD has a wider and broader appreciation from different quarters of the world, ranging from Australia, India, Mongolia, Pakistan, Central Asia, Arabia, Europe and up to Americas, the main driver was the whatsapp group.
We have a web link of the CaM experts, a hub for knowledge management and to consult for health aspects with the respect of the camel milk. IFCAM is a great place to get support for the health complications and response with the camel milk.https://camelmedforum.com/advisory-board/. Under the patronage of IFCAM, the Jodie Ashore organized a film, covering different important parts of the camel’s world. https://youtu.be/ay9wM0WeBXo
Our facebook page was not behind in the whole process. Thanks Kehkashan Qureshi who made it possible to post each and every important news related to WCD on the page. https://www.facebook.com/Camel4all/. You can join our page and like the page to support the camel cause. Also, Kehkashan Qureshi made a beautiful film about the role of camel in the livestock sector. https://youtu.be/p9ikX3rVRkk
Hashtag #WorldCamelDay on the twitter was playing its role
We were trying to hash tag WCD activities from around the world with the hashtag stated above. There was a great support and appreciation. I wish and appeal the twitter to please support our cause of sustainable food production in challenging environment with the power of promising camel.
I’m very happy with all this success and congratulate you all for the successful WCD, 22 June, 2019.
The camels, umbrella tree (Acacia tortillas) go hand in hand in the desert. Umbrella tree is one of the most strong and resilient fauna of the extremely dry lands and desert, therefore is acting like a hope for camels during the hot weathers in the sandy deserts.
The camels are such a beautiful creatures, especially when you see them in the desert near an umbrella tree. Umbrella tree is one of the ice cream plant for the camels and goats.
Tribulus is resilient, beautiful and important flora of the desert.
It is resilient to the hardiness of the climate and weather of the desert
Having medicinal value, directly and indirectly (use as a herb also indirectly through camel urine and milk)
it is perineal plant but sprouts in spring (March and April after rains)
Not only valued as camel food and ethnomedicine but tribulus is home to precious fauna of the Desert
Many types of fauna live inside and around the Tribulus plant
They either depend upon the nectar, or florescence or eat the leaves
Some makes burrows and home inside the plant to make it habitat
They are making a rich niche and ecosystem
They fabricate a very useful and efficient biological control
They have beautiful flowers and seeds
.The yellow flowers make it very attractive in the desert. It attracts the insects and birds from a far distance. The aroma of the nectar is also very appealing for the bees and wasps. The seeds are coated in a compound structure enriched with hair to maintain the moisture of the structure.
The pest of the plant
In the month of the February, they are very much affected by the small black insects like lice. The insects rely on the florescence for food and shelter. They drink the moisture and juice of the pedestal of the flowers.
Then the other factors, like other good insects, wind storm, birds and rain help the tribunals to get rid of the lice.
Here are the links of the articles about the camel ice-cream species in the link below.
Desert is not a hell of sand but a beautiful paradise for a wide and diverse floral and faunal biodiversity. Here, I share some pictures of the desert. I took these pictures in the different time period during my desert exploration walk.
You can see different views of the desert in the pictures in the above slideshow.
Here you can see different plants of the desert, some with the fruits. You can see the steps of the Gazal in one picture. I think Ghazal eats Calitropis (Akk) leaves, please correct me if someone really knows.
Here in the above slideshow, you can see different beautiful plants. These plants are highly palatable and the camel-like it very much.
Different flowers with shining beauty in the sand. They provide a fascinating view of the desert. Such flowers are attraction and source of nectar to very tine creatures (see in the next slideshow).
Beautiful small insects can be seen in the flowers and on the seed as well.
The specialized roots of the desert flora. See the Prosopis tree is resisting to the desert conditions with the support of its strong roots.
Strong, multi and scattered roots. Some roots have the sponge like fiber coated on the roots to absorb and retain moisture.
The Desert explorer, this big rough and tough stick really helped me.
And when the mother earth calls back the creatures.
Please love mother earth. Think positively. See the beauty and use your beautiful chamber of the brain. Do not throw rubbish in the desert, the tinny creatures suffer.
Small scaled family farming plays a multidimensional role, ensure not only livelihood but play a pivotal role in biodiversity conservation. Such farmers judiciously use the weeds and herbs grow along with the crops and use the crop residues as animal feed. Here are some pictures, I shot in my hometown Borai, Loralai which show us the beauty of this unique farming system. The farmer told me that he never used any pesticides and chemical fertilizer.
Vegetables are grown at the orchard, providing rich and safe food for the family.
More plants and animals diversity is placed on a smaller piece of land with the highest productivity and the whole family depends on this farm in one or other way.
The almond tree with heavy production
Almond catch good prices and also a source of family food in winter
Alfalfa for cow (milking)
Some green chilies are the integral part of the food
The story is hereby released at the eve of the World Camel Day 2018.
The author was invited by the newly established Mongolian Camel Milk Company. The group owns their camels in the desert as their half families live there with the precious livestock in the amazing Gobi.
I started traveling from Dubai airport (2 am, 20th April) and reached Ulaanbaatar on the 21st morning 7 am (Cengiz Khaan International Airport) via Moscow by Aeroflot. The 12 hours stay in Moscow Sheremetyevo airport was an excellent experience of life as I slept in a small cabin available on rent, the first time in my life.
Sanaa and Enkhie (the trip organizers) received me at the airport and took me to the hotel (Khuvsgul Lake). Today, the program was composed of some meetings in the UB city with camel scientists/researcher, businessmen and visiting Changiz Khan Museum.
Travel to South Gobi Desert
Next day, we traveled for more than 10 hours by road and reached South Gobi region. We traveled another 1:30 hour to reach the nomad Ger (house). The nomad family warmly welcomed us and we stayed overnight there. I slept in the Ger first time.
This time period of the year, the nomads do not milk the camels but to let the calf take it and get stronger. The Bactrian camels have beautiful small teats with a strongly attached compact udder.
Seeing Camels and Interviewing the Herder
Next day, I woke up in the morning and went to the camels. They are still roaming near the Ger with their calves. The calves are tied. I observed the calves and the dams and found them very healthy and stronger.
Types of camel
There are 3 types of Bactrian camels in the region, i.e.
Galba Gobiin Ulaan (Reddish colored camel)
Khaniin Khestiin Khuren (Brown colored camel)
Thukhum MTungologiin kKhos Zogdott Khuren (double line neck hair)
The breeding season starts in October and reached the peak in December and slowly decline and cease in April. Usually, one Bull is enough for up to 70 she-camels. The details of the production traits are given in the table below.
Table: The Production Traits of the Bactrian camel in the region
Conception Rate (%)
Avg. Milk (kg)
The table clearly indicates the breeding season, calving percentage, and the milk production. The Camel Milk is lower in quantity, producing from 1-3 liter/day but the milk is thick and full of energy to give special strength to the calf to survive in challenging environment. The average milk production based on my survey is 640 ml/day with lactation yield 233 kg. The lactation here calculated on the annual basis but in actual, the camel produces for up to 8 months.
Camel Milk Products
The nomads use camel milk as fresh directly. The surplus is converted into fermented product (Harmok). The Harmok is used very widely and some products are available in the market in Ulaanbaatar. For further details about Bactrian milk, you can go to the link Detailed Nutritional Composition of Bactrian Camel’s Milk
The surplus Harmok is converted into CM Vodka and the residues are used to make Curt. The curt and Vodka is offered to the guests as a unique product of the Gobi.
The Attachment of Nomads with camel
The nomads love their camel very much. They call it Temeh in the Mongolian language. They use camel for riding, racing, festivals, wool, and also for meat (in rare cases).
We, the camel activists celebrate world camel day since last few years. Different groups of the people celebrate this day it in the different parts of the world in different ways. The idea behind celebrating world camel day is to aware the public and the policymakers regarding the important role of a camel in the food security under climate change scenario. World Camel Day (June 22)
Themes of Different Years
In 2016, the theme was “CAMEL FOR LIFE”
2017, the theme was “Camel Journey from its original habitat to the modern world
2018, the theme is “The camel milk story”
Anyone from any part of the world, who is interested to share his/er story can send it to my email, which will be shared via camel4all.com website with the name of the storyteller.
It is a great opportunity for the camel milk producing companies to share their stories (history and products etc) with the world.
Let’s celebrate this year world camel day as the awareness day for the precious milk of the camel.
I always tried to learn the lessons of strength, patience, and resilience of the plants and animals. See the beautiful and special tree, the Acacia of the desert ecosystem. The botanical name is Acacia tortilis and the local names are Samr, Samur, and Salam.
I’m talking about the Acacia Tortilis (Samr, Samur or Salam), a compound leaf, the thorny and hardy tree of the Arabian desert. Highly resistant tree of drylands and the desert. The camel and goats both like it. Such strong and resilient plants products give camels strong feelings of survival. TERRESTRIAL HABITATS
The resilience of the tree in the driest conditions
I hereby to start a discussion about the selection of genetic resource for livelihood in the difficult ecosystems of the world. In my view, a true and durable sustainability of food production can be achieved with the tool of the local/native genetic resources embodied with the traditional knowledge.
*Sustainability in true sense means ‘considering the hidden costs like water & carbon footprint along with the other environmental factors.
In the far and wide drylands of the world, local/native genetic resources are playing a pivotal role in sustaining livelihood in the difficult environments since unknown time. To me, the camel is one of the best choices among the best genetic resources.
Originally domesticated for food production, especially milk, the camel was later used for other purposes and the milk became the secondary product.
Good news, that camel is again turning towards its original task, the milk. Camel is no more the animal of the old world, but an animal which may be used to combat the growing desertification and to feed millions of people living in those regions. It has been shown that camels can provide 15-20 liters of milk per day for a lactation period of up to 18 months, making it a very good farm animal.
Based on my personal experience of a camel farm for milk purpose, some camels can produce >12,000 kg milk per lactation (genetic potential) but the majority of population fall in >3,000 kg. The yield is sustainable in the true sense as camel consumes a lesser quantity of water/kg milk production. The same is true for the energy consumption as the camel doesn’t need weather comfort because of its special genes adapted to hostile weathers.
Africa, the Climate Change Hot Spot
Studies conducted in the horn of Africa revealed that the camel produced more milk than the other types of tropical animals compared on the basis of kg/TLU/year. A wide part of the African continent is well familiar with the camel milk, and consider it the fluid of choice in all conditions. Camel Milk and Challenges of Modern Time; The Concept of Natural Health
The Treasure is Uncovered in Another Hot Spot
South Asia, especially dryland (Western India and a major part of Pakistan) are the worst affected by the climate change calamities. The great Thar Desert being the habitat of the world’s best milk camel is an uncovered treasure of the region. Badly neglected and hidden from the consideration of the policymakers. A Beautiful Camel Heritage is Sinking
The time has reached to know and exploit the true potential of native genetic resources like camel and to find the ways to sustain livelihood (in the true sense) of the generations to come. I would appreciate a positive and healthy debate to be initiated regarding the food production in a truly sustainable model under the climate change scenario.
Camel and goats like the salty and spiny species of plants. Such plants are also called ice cream species for camel and goats. In part 1, we discussed the fodder trees which are very much liked by the camels and goats. Here the bushes species will be briefly discussed along with the pictures.The Ice Cream Species of Plants for the Camel and Goat. Part 1
1. Leptadenia pyrotechnica (Marakh as local Arabic name, Bararra in Pashtu)
It is widespread from Africa, the Arabian peninsula to South Asia. The camel likes it very much because of its taste and flavor. When lush, it has higher contents of CP.
One picture tells different and multidimensional stories. Markh (Leptadenia) plant playing a multipurpose role, from halting creeping sand, provides shelter to insects, soil conservation to the camel food. The camels browse this Ice cream species of plant.
The bush is also considered as diuretic both in human and animals. Some camel keepers offer Markh to the male camel when they have urine obstruction problem. We the Pashtun people make chewing gum from this plant.
2. Zygophyllum (Zygophyllum qatarense)
A salt-tolerant plant of the Arabian Peninsula that grows as a rounded, dwarf shrub. In adaptation to retaining water in its saline environment, it has small compact leaves that are rather fleshy and succulent. The camel loves this plant because of 2 main reasons, the i.e. rich source of water and providing abundant salts.
The plant is the real ice cream species for camel and goat. The only thing camel need in the hot dry environment of the region are the water and the salts and the plant is rich in these 2 nutrients.
Camel and goats like the salty and spiny species of plants. Such plants are also called ice cream species for camel and goats. Here, I share some special pictures of such species which I shot today during my morning walk.
The camel herders take their camels to graze on these plants when they notice salts deficiencies. The Pashtun camel keepers called the phenomenon of salt deficiency as ZALAM.
Acacia Tortilis (Samr, Samur or Salam)
One compound leave has more than 170 leaflets. Highly resistant tree of drylands and the desert. The camel and goats both like it. Such strong and resilient plants products give camels strong feelings of survival. TERRESTRIAL HABITATS
The resilience of the tree in the driest conditions
The bolossom of Acacia Tortilis
The beautiful pods of the reselient tree can be seen guarded by sharp spines
Prosopis cineraria (Ghaf)
One of the important tree of the desert ecosystem. This tree is highly respected and cared about in the UAE. The father of the nation ‘Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan’ had very special adoration and care for this tree. During the development process of the country, the roads were designed to save the tree, especially Ghaf. Prosopis cineraria (Ghaf) tree and beautiful landscape.
In the first picture, one can see the wall is curved to protect the tree. This tree is very strong and gets a very long life. Even the slightly attached broken branches survive for years.
This tree is very special food for the camels. Once in a year, the shoots are allowed to trim and offer to the camels. This trimming time is linked with the breeding season of the camels. The camel bulls like this plant very much and work aphrodisiac for them. This tree is widely found in Alain city and adjoining areas. The Resilient Genetic Resources~A Solution to Many Difficult Question
The government and the people of the UAE prioritize native trees for conservation
The beautiful scene made by the Prosopis tree
These plants give special quality and taste to the camel milk. It enriches the camel milk with the unique minerals which plays the pivotal role in human physiology. The UAE vision is very appreciable, as the country is promoting sustainable management and conservation of plants and animal genetic resources. The policymakers of the other countries must learn from them.