Wild Bactrian camel of Central Asia: habitat, biological features and problems of conservation

Prepared by a team of Russian and Mongolian scientists the monograph introduces the reader to a unique representative of the world fauna – wild Bactrian camel (Hautacam), living in the desert regions of Central Asia. He is listed in the international Red list of IUCN, where identified as being in critical danger (Critically Endangered), and also in Appendix I of CITES.

This monograph summarizes the preliminary result of long-term studies of wild camels, conducted by scientists from different countries, starting with N. M. Przhevalsky. Based on existing literature and results of own field studies in the deserts of Mongolia, the authors made a successful attempt systematic presentation of the accumulated world science materials.

The book consists of three chapters, whose subject-matter made in its subtitle. Giving in the introduction a brief overview of the history of the study of wild camels, the authors devote the first Chapter to the characteristic habitat of this species. Focuses on the Great Goby reserve: provides information about its topography, climate, soil and vegetation cover, hydrology and fauna.

The second Chapter is devoted to biological characteristics of populations of wild camel. The following issues are addressed: the systematic status and characteristic of this species; food and pasture-watering mode; daily and seasonal activity, behavior; population structure and social organization; the specificity of reproduction and development; morpho-physiological and ecological adaptation to a harsh habitat.

The third Chapter focuses on the protection of wild camels in nature. As the unit of protection is considered the population. There was a further reduction of the area hastaga not only in China but also in Mongolia due to ever-increasing anthropogenic impact on ecosystems. To date, the most solid plot of the species distribution area has been preserved in the South-West of Mongolia in the extremely arid deserts of the Gobi Zaltauskas. The data on the population dynamics of this animal. In addition to human activities on the number of wild camels are affected by a number of other factors that the Chapter also paid to place. Considered separately the problem of hybridization and the conservation of genetic purity of populations. Finally, the authors discuss the spatial structure and natural-ecological zoning of habitat in Zaltauskas part of the range of wild camels.

The monograph ends with a conclusion. These included recommendations on the organization of complex measures directed to the protection hastaga, including such emergency actions as effective implementation of the protected mode in protected areas, optimization of the habitat of wild camels, the accessibility of water sources, restriction of hybridization, nursery establishment, reduction of anthropogenic impact on functionally important for the populations of the camel ecosystems. One of the major conditions the authors rightly consider the promotion of international cooperation in the conservation of this unique species.