AWS is collaborating in the collection of information on the distribution and abundance of camels in the Great Victoria Desert. The project involves large-scale aerial survey across the South Australian and West Australian border. Transects are flown at 250 feet above the ground and a 200 m strip is observed on either side of the aircraft in which camels are counted. The results are then used to estimate camel populations in the region as a prelude to subsequent control.
In recent years the growing size and impact of the feral camel population in Australia’s rangelands has emerged as a serious issue of management. The Australian Government has committed $19 million to a four-year project to reduce the number and density of feral camels around priority environmental assets (biological refugia and high conservation value aquatic ecosystems). With an equivalent level of activity by state governments, there is potential for a significant reduction in the size and impact of the feral camel herd, as well as opportunities for some development of a local camel industry. More details at http://www.feralcamels.com.au