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Old June 9th, 2011, 08:08 AM
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Camels to be shot by helicopters in Australia

http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/Wor...00908215357105

Thousands of camels will be shot from helicopters and turned into burgers in a bid to halt their trail of havoc across Australia.


Targets: Camels graze in the Australian outback unaware of threat above


Marksmen plan to gun the animals down amid concern the thirsty dromedaries are barging into people's homes and ripping up their bathrooms looking for water.

Government officials plan to wipe out 650,000 of the feral population in the remote Outback area of the country.

The creatures were first introduced to Australia in the 1840s to help explorers travel through the Australian desert.

There are now about one million camels roaming the country.

They compete with sheep and cattle for food, trample vegetation and invade remote settlements in search of water.




On a number of occasions they have scared residents - tearing apart bathrooms and ripping up water pipes.

Last month, the federal government set aside £9.5m for the cull.

Besides sending in sharpshooters in helicopters and on foot, officials are planning to turn many of the creatures into camel burgers and other treats.

Glenn Edwards, who is working on drafting the government's camel reduction program, said the camel population needs to be slashed by two-thirds to reduce catastrophic damage.



But some remain opposed to a mass slaughter.

Camel exporter Paddy McHugh, who runs camel catching operations throughout Australia, said a cull would be ineffective.

"What happens in 15 years when the numbers come back again? Do we waste another £9.5m," McHugh said.

But Tony Peacock, CEO of the University of Canberra's Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Center, said: "To be shot from a helicopter is actually quite humane, even though that sounds brutal."

"If I was a camel, I'd prefer to just get it in the head."

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Old June 9th, 2011, 08:51 AM
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These stories always bother me.
I never know what to do about them, or know how I'd feel if I was a farmer whose livelihood was threatened...but these stories bother me.
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Old June 9th, 2011, 09:04 AM
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they bother me also Marko, like the interviewed man says...what happens in 15 yrs when the population is back up? would it not be better to somehow castrate young ones? or would that be like trying to "fix" our deer?
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Old June 9th, 2011, 09:36 AM
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I have mixed feeling about this. Unfortunately, this situation was created by man in the first place. Nature never intented for camels to live in Australia. As the story indicated, they were introduced there by man in the 1840's for people's convenience at the time. Not the camels' fault that they were introduced into a new land and have now become pests, but what can be done to correct man's mistake.

These types of problems are prevalent all over the world, because when people began settling in other countries they sometimes brought with them plants, animals, birds, etc. that were native to their countries. Once introduced into an environment they were not intended for, many have become invasive, sometimes threatening native wild life and flora. So many problems today are the result of man's interference with the natural order of things. Just my

So what do we do to correct the problems we have created?
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Old June 9th, 2011, 10:15 AM
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One million camels....holy catz! At this stage, what can they do besides cull? Once the population is culled, maybe they can turn their next efforts to population control, if they even have birth control for camels that can be administered from the air... But there is no way they could dart a million camels with birth control meds. And how could you tell after the first dartings which camels were 'fixed' and which weren't? Even if they can get the population down to 250,000, birth control is still an insurmountable task and likely would cost more each year than culling would!

It's not just farmers' losses that need to be considered. It's native animals that suffer the most from invasive species. It's why hazel was in favor of killing the cowbird that we captured while banding--cowbirds are native to WI but human activity has increased the 'reach' of cowbirds, who happen to be nest parasites. Since human activity has changed the landscape, cowbirds can reach far into the forest and parasitize species that are totally unprepared to deal with them. As a result, populations of many small songbirds are declining while the cowbird populations soar since every road cut into the forest gives them access to new areas. One cowbird fem can parasitize up to 70 nests in her lifetime!!! That's a huge impact and it's recognized by the govt--cowbirds are the only native bird that you can legally kill any time you can safely do it in WI.

As heartless as it sounds, the camels don't belong in Australia. As I understand it they have a very detrimental impact on the ecosystem and put a great deal of pressure on native species. If the authorities can truly cull 650,000, IMO they should go the rest of the way and try to cull them all. It's bloody and brutal, but for an invasive species like camels, it would have the greatest long-term benefit for the ecosystem. And unlike introduced rats or snakes or invasive plants, camels are large enough to be fairly 'easily' eradicated.

Humans caused the problem. Camels are just being camels. It's sad, but if the ecosystem is to be restored, culling by humans may be the only way at this point.
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Old June 9th, 2011, 11:01 AM
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And while they are at it, Hazel, they should be culling any wild goats, pigs, brumbies(horses), water buffalo, rabbits , wild dogs, and feral cats that they spot because they are all foreign to this country and all are doing untold damage. I'd hate to live out there, I know I wouldn't be tough enough, even while knowing such culls must be done.
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Old June 9th, 2011, 11:13 AM
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wow, is there that much damage done by all of them goldfields? wild pigs and rabbits aren't native to your area?
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Old June 9th, 2011, 11:40 AM
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Oh hell, while we're at it why not just start culling humans too? After all, we are the biggest vermin for damaging the ecosystem, the earth, the air, the skies. If we go far enough back I'm sure we'd find we weren't native to a lot of places too but hey.............

I am on the fence with this. I really hate the idea of killing - anything. BUT - I can see the necessity. I don't have the answer. I don't think many would. I for one am not going to volunteer to be at the end of a shotgun at any time. Not even for some humans I'd like to get rid of. And folks - if you can't tell I wrote this tongue in cheek - sorry.
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Old June 9th, 2011, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 14+kitties View Post
Oh hell, while we're at it why not just start culling humans too? After all, we are the biggest vermin for damaging the ecosystem, the earth, the air, the skies. If we go far enough back I'm sure we'd find we weren't native to a lot of places too but hey.............
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Old June 9th, 2011, 01:03 PM
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I don't like the idea of culling either, but I hope that the camels are put to use as food. The article states that the meat will be used. I suppose they won't be able to process each camel though, but if the majority is used to feed people who need it then it takes a bit of the sting out of the whole cull. I hope it goes to foodbanks etc. I assume Australia has the same homeless problems that the rest of the world does.
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Old June 9th, 2011, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 14+kitties View Post
Oh hell, while we're at it why not just start culling humans too? After all, we are the biggest vermin for damaging the ecosystem, the earth, the air, the skies. If we go far enough back I'm sure we'd find we weren't native to a lot of places too but hey.............
Think how different it would have been if only something with greater intelligence had been around to keep us in check on our meteoric rise! Of course, North America would then be off limits... rats! I kinda like it here.

But I agree, it's a human problem, not a camel or other invasive animal problem. However, once humans let it get out of control, the best choice if you really want to fix the problem is usually extirpation. It's sad, but true. And it's usually not attainable because by the time humans see a problem (crisis-oriented thinking--don't see the potential problem till it blooms into reality and demands action) it's so out of control that you can't eliminate it. Norwegian rats are a case in point. How many countries have been able to totally eliminate the problem of introduced rats?

And how many people even know these rats aren't native anymore? Just like humans... They've been around so long that no one even realizes neither species is native.

Prevention is so much more efficient, and so much less brutal--don't introduce exotics in the first place! (Which brings us back around to the thought that wouldn't it have been nice if there had been something that prevented us from expanding off our native continent? )

Unfortunately, Pandora's box is open and we face the choice of which species do we preserve? In the camel case, how many native Australian species are at risk due to the camels' (and other exotics') presence? Do those native species deserve extinction because we haven't the stomach to take care of a problem of our own making? It's a tough, tough question and all the answers have deep moral dilemmas built into them...
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Old June 9th, 2011, 04:30 PM
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I don't like the word invasive,or pests in talking about animals.
Are all wild animals pests,it seems so in some peoples views
The only invasive animal,or pests are us humans..

As for the Camels,they don't belong in Australia and I can understand that it would be formidable animal to shoo away from your property..
However killing a Camel from a helicopter,would certainly cause mass-panic among the animals,what are the chances there will be a humane head-shot.

I don't agree with culling any animal,but this sort of thing is happening here in Canada too,maybe just not in such a large scale,except for the seal-slaughter.
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Old June 9th, 2011, 04:51 PM
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this is just do sad......being shot from something that flies is just wrong. they will be wounding many animals and just causing unnecessary pain and confusion. A quick kill is mandatory, I hope the hell they don't let some joy killer wound many of those animals in the name of the cull. Some may escape and die a slow painful death....sigh, i will be lighting a lot of candles for these unfortunate camels...sigh
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Old June 9th, 2011, 07:24 PM
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14+ wrote
Oh hell, while we're at it why not just start culling humans too?

LOL. You don't know how often I have thought along similar lines. All this talk of speutering on other threads and no-one mentions how overpopulated some countries are, with humans I mean. But, I suppose if you start saying little girls and boys should be desexed early to avoid unwanted teenage pregnancies, people would look at you funny.
Getting back to the camels though, you can bet they aren't wanting to cull them to leave feed and water there for the kangaroos, which they also cull. It'd be for sheep and cattle no doubt, again not native to the country.
Hazel, another example is the Aussie brush tailed possum being introduced to New Zealand. They'be become a real problem, a bit of a plague.

Melinda, wild pigs and rabbits aren't native to this country at all. Rabbits and foxes were introduced, pigs escaped from the early settlers and went feral. Unfortunately this country suited a lot of introduced animals, perfect breeding conditions, so Australia has seen unbelievable rabbit plagues for instance, and of course camels like it here, it's no surprise they bred up.
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Old June 9th, 2011, 07:57 PM
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....culling of humans...well that would certainly fix almost all of the earths problems. We really should start looking at the root of our problems..."HUMANS" and our selfish stupidities to change the natural course of nature

Last edited by cpietra16; June 10th, 2011 at 01:12 PM.
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Old June 9th, 2011, 08:25 PM
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Old June 10th, 2011, 10:04 AM
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Like the culling of deer, seals and any/all other animals that get in our way it always saddens me to hear when this is about to happen. Nothing we could do about it so I wish they'd leave it out of the newspapers
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Old June 10th, 2011, 10:28 AM
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What I find distressing here is the culling of the brumbies. I love seeing horses running free in the wild.
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