Preliminary Investigation of the Decomposition of Feral Camel Carcasses in Central Australia

Benxiang Zeng

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Abstract

    An integrated national feral camel management plan is being implemented across the camel range in Australia, aiming to control the damage caused by camels. The culling operation is currently the main management approach. Although concerns about the environmental consequences of shot-dead camels decomposing in the bush are often raised, there is a lack of empirical research on this issue.This study aimed to explore the decompositionprocess and identify how long the complete decomposition of camel carcasses would take in natural settings in central Australia. The field monitoring was conducted for a consecutive ten months. Monitoring activities included observing, measuring, recording and photo taking. A decomposition model was applied to predict the average decomposition process. SPSS was used for regression analysis and modelling. It was found that camel carcasses would generally take around 2 years to decompose completely in natural settings in central Australia,although the process varied with individual carcasses. The warm and wet weather would accelerate the decomposition process. The preliminary evidences provided in this study would allow a better understanding how culled camels would decompose in the bush. It provides a quantitative basis to explore the environmental consequences of camel management strategy, including a possibility to estimate the carbon emission mitigation through the camel culling program. � 2015 by Nova Science Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationRangeland Ecology, Management and Conservation Benefits
    EditorsVictor R. Squires
    Place of PublicationNew York
    PublisherNova Science Publishers
    Chapter8
    Pages149-161
    Number of pages13
    ISBN (Print)9781634825047
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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