Major Pest – Feral Camel

Feral camels occur over 37% of the Australian mainland (2.8 million km2 ), being confined primarily to the drier parts of Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory. There are currently in excess of 300,000 feral camels, and the population is capable of doubling in size every eight years. Within the Northern Territory feral camels are found over an area of approximately 550,000 km2 , or around 40% of the land area.

The first camels arrived in Australia in 1840 from the Canary Islands. During the 1880s and 1890s the camel importation rate rose sharply as camels were utilised for exploration purposes. It is estimated that 10,000 – 20,000 camels were imported between 1880 and 1907. The domestic camel population continued to expand from 1880 until the early 1920s through importations and natural increase, but then declined steadily as motor vehicles began to be used more and more for freight haulage. Although unwanted camels were occasionally destroyed, many were turned out into the bush where they established feral populations.

Information on the feral camel from the Parks and Wildlife Commission Northern Territory.

Author Parks and Wildlife Commission NT
Publisher Parks and Wildlife Commission NT
Region NT