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Wild Camel Protection Foundation

The BLS are subscribers to the Wild Camel Protection Foundation
Head Office, School Farm, Benenden, Kent, TN17 4EU England
Tel: 44 (0) 1580 241132
Email: harecamel@aol.com
www.wildcamels.com
 
Hon. Life Patron: Dr. Jane Goodall D.B.E.
Patrons: The Marchioness of Bute, The Countess of Chichester, Professor Yuan Guoying, Peter Hall, Jane McMorland Hunter of Hafton, Gerald Kidd, Damon de Laszlo, Lulu Lytle, Colin McIntosh, Professor David Munro, Romy Shovelton.
 
March 2017 - Newsletter
 
CAMEL and MONGOLIAN CULTURAL DAY – SUNDAY, 16th of JULY, 2017
Emma Buchanan, sister of WCPF Patron Lulu Lytle, who both travelled with me to the breeding centre at Zakhyn Us last September, has generously offered to organise a Camel and Mongolian Cultural Day on Sunday the 16th of July 2017. She made an approach to Mr and Mrs James Henderson who live in the delightful National Trust property of Buscot Park near Oxford, and they have kindly agreed to WCPF holding the event there this year. We are in the planning stage, and this year it will differ from previous Camel Race Days, in that camels will not be racing. Camels will be giving dressage displays and there will, we hope, be camel rides for children. The primary emphasis will be on Mongolian culture, and we hope to organise archery, wrestling, and horse riding accompanied by singing and traditional music. All proceeds raised will go to the WCPF, Hunter Hall Wild Camel Breeding Centre in Mongolia. Please look at our website from time to time where up-to-date announcements will be made www.wildcamels.com It should be a wonderful day out in a superb setting.
 
MONGOLIA
Dovchin has retired from his post as Director of the Specially Protected Area Gobi “A” and has been replaced by Bayarbat. Dovchin was overseeing the management of the wild camel breeding centre on our behalf and has generously agreed to continue to do this for the time being. Meanwhile, Bayarbat has organised a celebratory commemoration for the 20 years that WCPF has been operating in Mongolia, the ten years since the foundation of WCPF Mongolia and the 30 years since the Mongolians caught their first wild camels which eventually became the nuclear herd of the breeding centre. These celebrations involving camel racing were clearly a great success, and a number of important local dignitaries attended. Photographs are on WCPF’s Facebook page and website.
Later this year, Adiya Yadamsuren is planning the second part of the three celebrations with a photographic exhibition in Ulaan Baator.  The British Ambassador to Mongolia has offered to give the British Embassy’s support for the exhibition.
 
 
Wild Camel Four-year-plan for Mongolia.

The WCPF team is developing a Wild Camel four-year-plan to study the wild camel desert habitat; and possible future translocation sites for the wild camels, under IUCN guidelines, from the breeding centre at Zakhyn Us Mongolia into the Specially Protected Area Gobi “A” and other possible locations. This plan will involve identifying reasons for the decline in water resources; establishing vegetation transects in key habitat areas; identifying problems of impoverished illegal miners in Gobi “A and putting forward proposals for their future welfare; and training programmes for Gobi “A” rangers.
The expected LONG-TERM RESULTS are:
A definitive picture of water resources in the Gobi “A – this will be of benefit to all the fauna and flora of Gobi “A.”
A definitive assessment of grazing areas near strategic water points –  a benefit to the fauna of Gobi “A”
A permanent solution to the problem of illegal miners within Gobi “A” – a huge benefit both to Gobi “A’ and the impoverished illegal miners.
Co-operation with other organisations protecting Gobi wildlife, notably Professor Harry Reynolds and the Gobi Bear Project.
 
Professor Seddon, of Otago University, New Zealand a leading world expert in the translocation of captive species has agreed to review the project. Adiya Yadamsuren, zoologist and wild camel expert, together with the Anna Jemmett, zoologist and WCPF Information Officer will be extensively involved in the planning and implementation of this project. Part of the funding has already been obtained by WCPF, but further funding is still required.

 
In a related development, Adiya Yadamsuren and Anna Jemmett had a Skype meeting with Dr Hindrich, who works in geoinformics (GIS), in a data management company. He is part of a Mongolian MNET project called MoMo,  being undertaken to develop a freshwater map of Mongolia. Data management will be important for WCPF in identifying water holes in the GGSPA'A' and for future data collection and MoMo has created a geoportal that can store GIS data. This geoportal is FREE to use. Dr Hindrich offered to put our team in contact with an expert in water data to answer any queries, which may arise during the term of the four-year-plan. In addition, WCPF can use GIS to make sense of the wild camel satellite collar data, to map water remotely, to use with drone technology and also to look back at past data.
 
Drone technology together with camera trapping, are two areas which WCPF is actively researching for use in their Four-Year-Plan.

 
Acreage increase at the Breeding Centre
The Ministry of Nature and the Environment has approved an increase of land at the breeding centre by another 60 acres. This will require additional permanent fencing using wire and metal poles. Seven calves are expected to be born in the spring of this year, which would take the total of wild camels at the breeding centre to over 30. Clearly, an extension is needed, and we are most grateful to the Ministry for allowing us to increase the acreage.

 
CHINA
We have received some remarkable photos from China that were taken on camera traps in the Lop Nur Wild Camel National Nature Reserve which was established by the Chinese and WCPF in 2003. These show camels confronting wolves and also six young camel calves prancing around a man-made spring. Although he copes with illegal miners and undocumented visitors in a continual basis, Yuan Lei the Reserve Director and a Trustee of WCPF is doing a difficult job extremely efficiently and has just sent the following brief report:
 
The latest news is:
1) We still do infrared ray cameras in the reserve to monitor animals around Spring. We will take the data from the cameras next month.
2) We still focus on education activity. We have done many public awareness educational talks in schools, in super markets and in the community.
3)Our wild camel and the reserve's exhibition will finish in ten days time. We have made a “sand table” covering the whole of the reserve in the exhibition. When we finish it, I will send a photo to you.
 
Ali Abutalip who was the Director of the Wildlife Office in Aksay Township, Gansu Province has unfortunately for WCPF, left the Reserve to work with the local government administration. We are trying to find out the name of his replacement so we can get the latest information about the small herds of wild camels in the Annanba Reserve. The westerly border of this Reserve is contiguous with the Lop Nur Wild Camel National Reserve in Xinjiang province.
 
AGREEMENT WITH  ALTWELTKAMELE e.V
In November I visited Germany and the Altweltkamele e.V (AWK), in Rostock, the club to which all camel owners and zoos in Germany are affiliated. I gave a talk about the wild camels to the club, and many prominent German scientists involved in camel conservation were there as well as camel owners and representatives from German zoos which keep camels. As a result of this visit WCPF and AWK, have signed an Agreement, whereby AWK will where possible promote our work to protect the critically endangered wild camel and its fragile desert habitat. To achieve this objective, WCPF and AWK will cooperate on the following actions:
 
1. The WCPF Website in German
AWK agrees to translate into German material selected by WCPF from its website now, or which may be added at any time in the future by WCPF to its website. It will be shown as a German Language Option on the existing WCPF website and accessed via a plug-in. WCPF agrees to set up this plug-in and the German language site on its website: <
www.wildcamels.com>. Only material approved by WCPF can be translated and added to the German language section of the WCPF website. In addition, WCPF agrees to add material in German provided by AWK if such material promotes the work of WCPF in Germany or throughout the German-speaking world.
 
2.
 Sign Boards
AWK agrees to make Sign Boards containing information about the wild camel for zoological facilities in Germany where domestic Bactrian and Dromedary camels are kept. WCPF will provide the official WCPF logo, the text and sample artwork for the Sign Boards. AWK make the Sign Boards and translate the text from the English into the German in cooperation with the local holding facility. Once approved by WCPF, then AWK will distribute the Sign Boards to the appropriate sites throughout Germany. AWK will provide WCPF with a list of Sign Board sites and contact details and once distributed WCPF agrees to put this information on the German language section of the WCPF website.
 
3. Translation of three Educational Booklets from English into German
AWK agrees to translate the three existing WCPF English language booklets for children and young adults about the wild camel, into German.
The three titles are:

  • Why the Wild Camel is Critically Endangered.
  • The Wild Camel Breeding Centre in Mongolia.
  • How the Camel got its Hump
Both WCPF and AWK will look for finance for the printing of the three educational booklets in the German language.  WCPF will make contact through the British Ambassador to Mongolia with the German Ambassador in Ulaan Baator. Once translated by AWK, AWK agrees to distribute and/or sell these booklets, throughout the German-speaking world and send any money received to WCPF after the deduction of overhead costs.
 
4. WCPF Newsletters translated into German
WCPF will email copies in English of the WCPF newsletter as soon as it is published for translation by AWK into German. AWK will distribute the newsletter via their German database to the German-speaking world. They will also provide WCPF with a German translation of each WCPF newsletter.This agreement is a major breakthrough into the German-speaking world where there is a surprisingly large interest in camels.
 
CAMEL CONFERENCE SOAS:  29th April - 30th April 2017
This Conference is always interesting, and this year, I will be presenting a paper on ‘
The Release of Wild Camels into the Gobi Desert in Mongolia’. Date 29 April 2017 at 10.00 AM at SOAS, Russell Square: College Buildings, London. The conference addresses all aspects of camel culture, past, present and future. It covers both Dromedaries and Bactrians and wild camels, in all continents, but not related species originating in the Americas. ALL ARE WELCOME TO ATTEND. For non-SOAS attendees, there will be a small registration charge. If you want to attend the conference, please send your contact details to the conference organiser Ed Emery at ed.emery@soas.ac.uk If you can come it will be very good to see you there.
 
NANCY FITE and BERT
Nancy Fite, whom many of you will have met at the Camel Races at Chilham castle last year, owns a famous camel called Bert and he was 20 years old on the 3rd March. We all wish Bert a very Happy Birthday. Nancy a long-term and very generous WCPF member is holding a birthday WCPF fund raising party.
 
WEBSITE, TWITTER and FACEBOOK
Anna Jemmett continues to do a brilliant job with our communications on Facebook and Twitter.  Anna has directly involved the Wild Camel Four year project and future fundraising. Our website is maintained and updated by Deborah Swain, and her costs are funded by a generous Beijing supporter who has been a member of WCPF since the beginning. Please do continue to visit our Website and Facebook page which are constantly being updated and contain a great deal of relevant information and pictures from both China and Mongolia. Photos and a commentary on the release are on the site as is the link to the French TV documentary. Please see:
www.wildcamels.com
www.facebook.com/WildCamels
www.twitter.com/WildCamels
 
ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTIONS
Your annual subscription is used entirely for funding the Mongolian Breeding Centre Budget. So please remember to renew your annual membership, and if you haven’t, please send £20.00 (or its equivalent in foreign currency). With over 550 members and only volunteer staff, we rely on members to send us the subscription themselves. You can pay by going direct to the website www.wildcamels.com using PayPal, or by setting up a direct debit with your bank. If you are paying in US dollars or Euros, you can also transfer funds direct into the WCPF’s Euro or US dollar accounts. Please email us for the WCPF bank ACCOUNT and transfer details.  Thank you to the many members who already pay by standing order direct to the WCPF account. We will send you our bank details on request. This is cost effective and a huge help for the work of WCPF, as with this regular income we pay the monthly costs at the Breeding Centre.
 
SPONSORING A YOUNG WILD CAMEL
With seven young wild camels calves shortly to be born at the Breeding Centre, we are looking for their sponsorship. If you are already sponsoring a young wild camel at the Breeding Centre, your sponsorship covers vaccines, veterinary advice, hay and medicines. One extremely generous donor from America is currently sponsoring three wild camel calves. Please remember to send your annual payment, which was due 1st March 2017.
 
TWO NEW SPONSORS
Wear for Wild and My Claim Solved are two new sponsors. My Claim Solved has generously sponsored the purchase of a camera trap for the Wild Camel Four Year project in Mongolia. Wear for Wild is producing clothing, hats, mugs with the wild camel motif, see their Facebook page Wear for Wild for pictures and donating a percentage from each sale to the WCPF. If you are interested in buying or finding out more, please go to LINKS on www.wildcamels.com and click on the link to both these companies.
 
LEGACIES
WCPF has received several bequests in Wills, from wild camel supporters. WCPF spends every bequest either directly at the breeding centre or to fund wild camel research. So if you are making a Will do Please remember the Wild Camel Protection Foundation.
 
Renewed thanks for your great support for our on-going work – the protection of the critically endangered wild camel in its fragile desert habitat from extinction. It is with your help and your generous support that we are able to achieve so much.
 
Very best wishes
 
John Hare
Wild Camel Protection Foundation Head Office,
School Farm, Benenden, Kent TN17 4EU
www.wildcamels.com          www.johnhare.org.uk