WCS 3-Sentence Science

Wild Camels Not So Wild

Wildlife Conservation Society
1 min readJul 15, 2019

June 21, 2019

Credit: Julie Larsen Maher/WCS

Each year, Wildlife Conservation Society scientists publish more than 300 peer-reviewed studies and papers. “WCS 3-Sentence Science” is a regular tip-sheet — in bite sized helpings — of some of this published work.

Here we present work by WCS Executive Director for Wildlife Health Chris Walzer on conserving the genetic integrity of highly endangered bactrian (two-humped) camels:

  1. Researchers investigated male lineages of both wild and domestic bactrian camels (Camelus bactrianus) for the first time.
  2. They found that wild and domestic camels were clearly separated into two different genetic populations that share a common ancestor, though they found a domestic paternal lineage within one wild camel — concerning given the importance to conserve the genetic integrity of these highly endangered species in their natural habitat.
  3. The research provides a baseline that will help conserve the integrity of the highly endangered wild two-humped camel gene pool.

Study and Journal: “A first Y-chromosomal haplotype network to investigate male-driven population dynamics in domestic and wild bactrian camels” from Frontiers in Genetics
WCS Co-Author(s): Chris Walzer, Executive Director Wildlife Health, Wildlife Health Program

For more information, contact: Stephen Sautner, 718–220–3682, ssautner@wcs.org.

Wildlife Conservation Society

WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature.