Sunday, May 31, 2009


Wild Heart Ranch encourages users to become a member or support the Wild Camel Foundation
You can use paypal to sign up or dontate

School Farm, Benenden, Kent, TN17 4EU England

Tel: 44 (0) 1580 241 132
Hon. Life Patron: Dr. Jane Goodall D.B.E.
The Marchioness of Bute, Damon de Laszlo,, Lulu Lytle, Jane McMorland Hunter of Hafton,
Professor David Munro, The Marchioness of Reading

June 2009 - Newsletter Number 21

Dear Supporter,

Lady Bute, is a long-standing supporter of the Wild Camel Protection Foundation and the wild Bactrian camels, and she is one of the few members who has visited the wild Bactrian camel breeding centre at Zakhyn Us in Mongolia and trekked on domestic Bactrian camels to Mother Mountain. It was her excellent suggestion, which she put to the Trustees, that we should invite several people to become Patrons of the Wild Camel Protection Foundation. Lady Bute kindly agreed to become a Patron and we look forward to all our new Patrons helping us in our efforts to raise awareness of our work and in the present difficult economic climate assist us with our fund-raising activities.

You are all aware, of the extra call on our funds over $15,000 to purchase the additional hay required for food for the wild Bactrian camels at the Breeding Centre. This was as a result of the severe snowstorms which occurred during the early Mongolian winter. This call on our Reserve Funds has left our finances severely depleted. Thank you very much to the many members who responded most generously to our call for funding. In particular we would like to thank the Member who very generously paid for the motor bike for the herdsman, Tsog Erdene. This improved his ability to work in very difficult and severe weather conditions, and made it much more manageable for him, especially during the recent breeding and calving season.

We are now working very hard to replenish the Reserve Fund so as to cover the annual costs of the Breeding Centre and on-going our work in Mongolia and China to protect and conserve the wild Bactrian camel. To help us do this we have organized two fund-raising events in England. Here are the details of the first one taken from our promotional leaflet:

WHERE: The Old Farmhouse, White House Farm, Idlicote, Near Shipston-on-Stour. Warwickshire CV36 5DN. We will put signs up from Halford, Honington and Idlicote From London you take the M40 and leave at J11, follow the A361 for 12miles until left turn for Halford in Pillerton Priors and follow signs for open Day. From the North M6 or M1 to M40 leave at J15 and follow A429 to Halford.
WHEN : 21 June 2009
TIME: 12.00 pm - 6.00pm
The only camel racing business in the UK is putting on a spectacular display to raise money for the Wild Camel Protection Foundation the only camel Foundation in the world with the aim of protecting and conserving the wild Bactrian camel in the wild in China and Mongolia.
Bring the whole family for a fascinating day out. Give YOUR children a ride on a Bactrian camel.
There are SEVEN domestic Bactrian camels impeccably mannered and professionally trained with Jockeys who are all experienced riders schooled to get the best out of the camels. All Jockeys and handlers are attired in Arabian style costumes to complement the camels in their magnificent racing colours.
Belly Dancing 12.00pm - 2.00 pm
Camel Racing 2.00pm
Pig Racing 3.00 pm
Camel Riding 4.00 pm - 6.00 pm.
Book (old books) Stall Cake Stall
Bowling at Skittles and other side-shows including a working smithy
Pin the tail on a camel
Bar and country fair food
Car Park Fee - £5.00
As you can see this should be a lively event and we are inviting ALL members and Supporters to come and enjoy a day out for the wild Bactrian camel. If any members would like to run a stall we would like to hear from you and we also need volunteers. Please Email me on Cakes for the cake stall would also be VERY WELCOME. So do come along, bring a cake and your old books and enjoy yourselves. If you would like to be sent a promotional leaflet in colour , so you can advertise the event for us, please ask me for one.
The second fund-raising activity is very different. One of our Patrons, Damon de Laszlo has agreed to host a dinner on 7th July at his house in Albany, Piccadilly, London which used to belong to Byron. 18 guests have been invited to dine in these surroundings and see some of the portraits which were painted during the Edwardian era by Damon’s grandfather, Philip de Laszlo. Jane Goodall will make a pre-recorded address and I will talk about wild Bactrian camels for about 5 minutes. The guests will then be invited to make a generous donation to the Wild Camel Protection Foundation. If any Member knows of anyone who may be interested in being one of these guests could they please get in touch with me direct. Numbers are very restricted.

In addition, if any member has any other fund–raising ideas to please do let us have them. Costs for the Breeding Centre in Mongolia are approximately £35,000 a year. However what we are trying to secure is long term funding for Mongolia and also for further survey and scientific field work required in China.

We still need to purchase a vehicle, a good second-hand which would cost approximately, $45,000. All ideas as to how we might obtain sponsorship for the cost
of this vehicle and donations towards the purchase price are most welcome.

Yuan Lei, Professor Yuan Guoying’s son who works full time for the Reserve has sent in regular reports both to us and ZSL in his capacity as an Edge Fellow. These have been informative and detailed and he has made two more expeditions into the Reserve since the last newsletter with members of the Reserve office staff. We are putting him forward for a Wildlife Conservation Network scholarship. He is currently working towards his Doctorate. We are very fortunate to have him as part of the team in China.
I have been invited to join one of the Reserve’s surveys in the autumn of this year to the Taklamakan Desert which is outside the Reserve. Wild Batrian camels have been sighted in this desert and the investigation plans to try to ascertain just how many there are. At the time of writing I have not managed to acquire the funding needed for me to join them (approximately $12,000) but I live in hope!

The disquieting news concerning the illegal gold miners who had entered the
Mongolian Great Gobi Specially Protected Area ‘A’, the habitat of the wild Bactrian camel and other critically endangered species, which I reported on in the last newsletter has been given a new twist. There is now proposal to de-gazette parts of Gobi ‘A’ to allow gold mining to take place. We have written to inform all the international organizations such as IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature), ZSL (Zoological Society of London), Denver Zoo, CMS (Convention for Migratory Species) who have an interest in protecting the Mongolian Great Gobi about this serious development. We are, through Bilgee and the Mongolian Wild Camel NGO and the members in the Mongolian Ministry of Nature and Environment trying hard and putting pressure on members of the parliament to vote against this proposal. We have asked Bilgee to keep us informed as events unfold. Of course, it is a highly political proposal which would have far-reaching consequences, not only for the critically endangered species within the protected area, but also for other reserves and for conservation generally in Mongolia. We will keep our members closely informed.

Three new calves have been born at the Breeding Centre, Zakhyn-Us. They were born at the end of the current calving season and have all survived to date. Two of the calves are male and one is a female. We would have liked all three to be female as too many young males present problems but we cannot be arbiters on the sex of our young captive camels!

In conjunction with ZSL, the WCPF UK and the WCPF Mongolian NGO, the Mongolian Ministry of Environment and Nature (MNE) are planning a meeting in Ulaan Baator in September 2009. Local stakeholders and international scientists concerned with the wild Bactrian camel will be invited to this meeting as well. The aim of the meeting is to discuss and decide on a Release Programme in a protected area in Mongolia for the wild Bactrian camels at the Breeding Centre; and the development of the Strategic Plan for the protection and conservation of the wild Bactrian camel in Mongolia. This must be done with the approval and agreement of the MNE. The results of this meeting will eventually become part of the Mongolian National Programme for the wild Bactrian camel. The WCPF Mongolian NGO is now preparing materials for this meeting.

Part of our work is supporting the Communities local to the Breeding Centre. We are already selling knitted items on our website. The WCPF has been asked by the women knitters to help with the cost of a local building. The cost to WCPF would be 50% of the total cost of a building, which will give the knitters of the Bactrian camel items, hats scarves glove and socks, a much better place to work. They would also be able to knit more items for us to sell, and earn more income themselves.
The total cost of this local Mongolian Community project is $2,100.
WCPF microfinance funding would be $1,050 (50%).
This is part of a microfinance project, with the knitters repaying the WCPF annually with knitted items, using local Bactrian camel wool, which WCPF can then sell.

EDGE – Wild Mammals on the Edge of Extinction
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) with whom we have a five-year working agreement launched a programme called EDGE in March 2007 to support wild mammals, which are on the edge of extinction. If you want to visit the website click on and on our website look for links to ZSL/EDGE. There is also a regular Blog on the ZSL EDGE website. Under the EDGE criteria the wild Bactrian camel is listed as the eighth most critically endangered wild mammal in the world. The two WCPF sponsored EDGE fellows, are Yad Adiya in Mongolia and Yuan Lei in China. They have completed their fieldwork surveys in their respective territories – The Great Gobi Specially Protected Area ‘A’ in southern Mongolia and the Lop Nur Wild Camel National Reserve in China. On Yuan Lei’s last survey on behalf of the Edge Programme in China the team encountered 142 wild Bactrian camels which is excellent news and highlights the need for an accurate survey to establish whether there are more than 600 wild Bactrian in China.

An Email just received from Dr Pamela Burger the University of Veterinary Medicine. Her student Katja Silbermayr is doing her post-graduate work on wild Bactrian camel DNA genetic testing using domestic and wild Bactrian camel samples collected from China and Mongolia and she states that:

As for the divergence between wild and domestic Bactrian camels. These
data (1.9%) also give us the argument that the wild Bactrian camel is
truly wild, since they cannot be feral when the split occurred
estimated at 700,000 (0.7 million) years ago, long before domestication took place.
This appears to justify all the hard work that the WCPF has put in over the past 12 years to bring to international attention, that the wild Bactrian camel is truly wild, and not a descendant of Silk Road runaways. I have replied as follows to Dr Burger and await her reply with great interest:

Your findings on the variation between the wild and domestic camels which indicate that the wild Bactrian camel is a truly wild animal which split 700,000 years ago is excellent news for us. It endorses our unproven beliefs and theories and gives us an even greater incentive for ensuring the protection of this critically endangered animal.
Two questions:
1. Is there now a real justification for saying this either is, or could be, a separate species? I should be very interested to have your view on this. If the answer is 'could be', how much more work do you need to undertake before you can conclusively say that the wild Bactrian camel is a separate species of camel?
2. If your answer to this question is, 'more work is needed to be undertaken,' what other samples do you now need in order of priority to continue your work and from which areas: e.g. China or Mongolia, wild or domestic, Dromedary or Bactrian. If you could let me have a priority list, I will do my best to get samples to you as soon as I can. It would be a huge boost to our work if one day the evidence conclusively proved that the wild Bactrian is a separate species

WCPF came to the conclusion that the walk across France with two domestic Bactrians to raise funds was going to cost more than we could hope to raise. The cost of buying and training the camels, flying from Mongolia to France two Mongolian herdsmen, the threat of being held up by Blue Tongue restrictions, the effects of the credit crunch on people who had volunteered to walk with the camels added up to too much. But in the process of attempting to organize it we discovered French Bactrian camel enthusiasts Paul and Sarah Bird who will try to help us to put our message across in France to school-children and the general public. www.lamaisondeschameaux
In conjunction with the Birds we have translated The King of the Gobi, our children’s book about the wild Bactrian camel, into French. Funds at the moment to not allow us to print it and we are looking for a sponsor.

WCN has invited me back to Los Altos in California to participate in the fund-raising event for endangered species. The schedule is:
Friday, October 2 - 6:00-9:00pm
Friday evening will be an invitation-only event for WCN's top donors and you. Dr. Jane Goodall will attend this event as a special guest.
Saturday October 3 - 10:00am - 6:00pm
The Wildlife Conservation Expo is your chance to present your work to the public. You'll have a 30-minute speaking slot and two tables to exhibit your project's literature, sell merchandise and meet with potential supporters. Speakers will be in two theatres with a 15-minute break in between each talk from 10:00am to 6:00pm. Dr. Jane Goodall will be the Keynote speaker and we expect to have more than 900 people. The Expo will be held at the Mission Bay Conference Center in San Francisco.
Sunday, October 4 - 12:00 - 7:00pm
The Conservation Garden Party. This is your chance to talk with donors you've met over the weekend. We expect approximately 200-250 throughout the day, and 125 at any one time. Attendees will include many of WCN's top donors and likely some new potential supporters as well. With our Honorary Life Patron Dr. Jane Goodall DBE. there championing our cause, I sincerely hope we manage to raise substantial funds for the wild Bactrian camel.

First of all thank you to all twelve members and supporters who have already generously sponsored a young wild Bactrian camel. We now have pictures of the young camel calves on our updated Website. However, to continue to protect the captive wild Bactrian camels especially the three new calves, to manage the pasture areas and water, we must have our herdsman and his assistants there on site full-time now. During the winter and spring months it is necessary to buy additional hay. This is expensive and we have already mentioned. Whenever possible we purchase hay locally, to provide badly needed income and to cut the high transport costs. Expensive Medicines are required for the females and their off-spring during the first five years. And the Project Director, Bilgee works continuously with the local communities and schools involving them in the work of the Breeding Centre, and ensuring they understand the importance of protecting the wild Bactrian camel a Mongolian Red Book listed endangered species. The good news is the success of the Breeding Centre Project to date, however this also means more pregnant females. As a result we urgently require at three more sponsors to cover the costs of three new calves.

I am always giving talks to both raise awareness of the plight of the wild Bactrian camel and funds for the work of the Foundation. Remember, we have the rights to show that wonderful film, ‘The Weeping Camel’ to raise money for the WCPF. If any member has a hall or suitable site which they can hire, then we can arrange a showing of the film, so Ideas please.

‘The Mysteries of the Gobi: Searching for Wild Camels and Lost Cities in the Heart of Asia’ was published by I.B. Tauris, (February 2009). Book price is £18.00 and it has been well received. Members can order at a discount price £15.00 from me direct.

We have recently updated the website and now have a Shopping Page. Please visit the site. Payment by Paypal; UK/Euro/USDCheque or bank transfer. Details are on the website.

We have range of unique items knitted by our herdsman’s wife from the wild Bactrian camel hair collected from the Mongolian Breeding Centre are available.
We have for £3.50 each solid milk or dark Bactrian camel chocolates, approximately 5 inches long, which are hand-made for us in Cornwall. We have already sold out three times. Order through or from direct from WCPF address: School Farm, Benenden, Kent. TN17 4EU.

Most members have renewed their annual membership for 2006/2007/2008, but if you haven’t, please send £20.00 (or its equivalent in foreign currency). You can go onto the website and pay using Paypal.
If you are paying in US dollars or Euros you can also transfer funds direct into the WCPF’s Euro or US dollar accounts. Please email us and ask for the bank transfer details. After 10 years we have decided to raise our subscription by £5 to £20/$40/25 Euros from 2008. Could members kindly adjust their payments accordingly?


Thank you once again for all your generous and highly valued support.

Yours faithfully,

John Hare FRGS
Founder and Chairman of the WCPF

Monday, April 07, 2008

New Baby Bactrian Camel

Read the story about the birth of a rare white Bactrian Camel, Seymour...

CPR saves life of rare camel
White-furred infant nearly died following rugged birth

By KYLE ZWIEG - GM Today Staff

CEDARBURG - It was mid-March, and George and Tipi Welsh were earnestly watching their 21-year-old pregnant Bactrian camel named Goldie as she neared her due date.

Though it was Goldie’s 11th delivery, it would be her first since coming to Wisconsin from Florida. She was arthritic, barely eating and generally uncomfortable in the cold weather.

The Welshes knew her labor could be difficult.

But when the baby emerged around 10 a.m. on March 16, the Welshes were met with a most unusual surprise. Goldie had given birth to a rare white camel, which the family named Seymour.

To read the full article:

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

James the Camel

From the Gobi Desert to Folly Farm in Kilgetty, James the Bactrian Camel has found a new home in Wales...

Camel comes to Wales

"James the Bactrian camel has settled down in Pembrokeshire after life in the Gobi Desert.

He is the latest arrival at Folly Farm, Kilgetty, which attracts over 340,000 visitors a year.

Bactrian camels can live for up to 40 years so at only two James has a long life ahead of him. Being a Bactrian camel James has two humps that store fat meaning he can survive without food or water for up to three days.

His usual habitat is the Gobi Desert and steppes of Asia but the environment at Folly Farm suits him perfectly as he is extremely well adapted for living in Pembrokeshire, coping well with both hot and cold environments.

Chris Ebsworth at Folly Farm says, "James is a welcome addition at Folly, where we are already home to a number of wonderful species, some are on our endangered animals programme which is our on-going commitment to conservation."

to read the full article:

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Carnivore Conservation

As more of the world's carnivores become endangered species a conservation center in Ohio, (, is taking action in the new building of a $5million project for a Carnivore Conservation Center. at the new center visitors will be able be educated about different species such as cheetah's and dholes...

In a recent article;

Meaty addition at Wilds
Two-story building, mid-sized carnivores like cheetahs, wild dogs from Asia and Africa part of $5 million project
By Bob Downing
Beacon journal staff writer

CUMBERLAND - There's something new at The Wilds.

The wild animal/conservation facility is opening a new venue in east-central Ohio: the $5 million Mid-Sized Carnivore Conservation Center. That's where visitors will be able to see and learn about cheetahs, African wild dogs and dholes.

Dholes are Asian wild dogs. They are the so-called red dogs of The Jungle Book.

The Wilds will become the second facility in the United States and the third in North America to house dholes. Dhole numbers have plummeted in Asia due to loss of habitat, persecution as a pest and vermin and dog-related illnesses.

The new center, scheduled to open early this month, covers 60 acres and includes 22 enclosures ranging in size from one to three acres with special fencing to keep the predators in.

A two-story building will house offices, a veterinary clinic and a public viewing deck. Elevated walkways will connect the main building to viewing overlooks and a central park area.

The facility was built with $1 million in state money and $600,000 in federal funds.

The center is the first major animal addition in years to The Wilds, a refocused operation that defies easy description. It is part Noah's Ark for endangered species, part drive-through zoo, part animal breeding farm, part scientific research facility and part tourist attraction.

Its mission is conservation and research but it needs tourism to survive. It has been called the conservation center for the 21st century and tries to showcase its work, not exhibits.

The Wilds was nearly forced to close in 2001 and 2002 due to financial problems. But it was reorganized and is doing well.

The facility also offers workshops and classes and other activities including bird and butterfly watching, mountain biking and fly fishing.

Officially known as the International Center for the Preservation of Wild Animals, The Wilds is only two hours from Akron and makes a pretty cool one-day trip for families. Located between Zanesville and Cambridge, about 70 miles east of Columbus, it is expecting 70,000 visitors this year, said director Evan S. Blumer

To read the full artcile:

Friday, June 01, 2007

Seahorses By Delma Island

Seahore Larva has been found off the coast of Delma Island. The larva was found during research being condcuted on the reprodcutive habits of fish in the area.It is also in effort to protect Abu Dhabi's Marine Envrionment...

From a Recent Article;

Seahorse larva collected off Delma Island
Staff Report

"Abu Dhabi: Specimens of a seahorse larva have been found in the waters northeast of Delma Island.

It was found and collected by experts of the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi's Marine Environment Research Centre.

The seahorse larva was collected as part of a programme investigating the reproductive habitats of fish in Abu Dhabi waters. It is part of a scheme to help protect areas of fish spawning.

About 35 species of seahorses are found around the world, while at least three species are seen in the Arabian Gulf. Seahorses can change colour to match their background and, much like humans, are generally monogamous
The male and female, in monogamous pairs, will greet one another with courtship displays in the morning and sometimes in the evening to reinforce their pair bond. They spend the rest of the day separate from each other hunting for food. Evidence gathered so far suggests that when seahorses stick with a partner for a while they get better at reproducing.

Seahorses are also notable for being the only species in the world in which males become pregnant.

The males not only take charge of the eggs, they also provide oxygen through a capillary network in the pouch, and they also transfer nutrients. They also control the pouch environment so that it changes during the pregnancy to become more like salt water."

To Read the Full artcile:

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

seperating myth from fact about the seahorse

As scientists have begun to more thoroughly examine and study seahorses certain perceptions about this unique creatures mating habits have been found to be present myth. New research in by British scientists has found that the once thought of “loyal” seahorse is hard to find and that they are more promiscuous then what had been previously thought. It may only be true that certain seahorses can commit to life long mating partners while others can be found flirting with others quite frequently, even with in the same sex…,,2-2575190,00.html

The secret sex life of 'faithful' seahorses
• Fabled monogamy exposed as a myth
• Same-sex liaisons 37 per cent of total

Seahorses may be graceful and elegant but the idea that they are monogamous and mate for life is just a myth, according to research.
A study indicates that the sea creatures are promiscuous, flighty and more than a little bit gay — none more so than the Australian seahorse. And unlike human rules of attraction, it was the members of the Hippocampus genus with the biggest bellies that attracted the most partners.

The results also suggested that of 3,168 recorded sexual encounters, 37 per cent were same-sex liaisons.
Scientists at fifteen Sea Life Centre aquariums around Britain studied ninety seahorses of three species from Australia, the Caribbean and the Channel. Until now many marine biologists had believed that seahorses were monogamous, and that theirs was one of the few species in which the male becomes pregnant and carries the eggs.
However, individual seahorses were recorded flirting with up to 25 potential partners a day. The Australian bigbellied seahorse was the most indiscriminate, mating with both females and males several times a day. Caribbean slender seahorses were also promiscuous. Of the three species studied, only some of the British spiny seahorse were faithful to one partner. Out of those, five pairs remained faithful, while twelve did not.
Paul Bullimore, a Sea Life Centre marine curator, said: “The results of the survey came as a revelation to all of us. The fabled monogamy of the seahorse really has been exposed as a myth. We were pretty sure there was far more promiscuity among seahorses than is generally acknowledged, but we hadn’t picked up on the same-sex liaisons.
“This bisexual activity was both a great surprise and a shock to many of us that work with the creatures. The observations of big-bellied seahorses suggest that neither males nor females of this species had any preferred partner. They really are indiscriminate and shameless creatures.”
The scientists were looking for signs of courtship, including colour changes, knotting of tails and synchronised swimming. The information was studied at the national seahorse breeding centre in the Sea Life Park, Weymouth.
A total of 1,986 “contacts” were recorded between males and females, and another 836 between females and 346 between males.
Mr Bullimore said: “The big-bellied seahorses showed the keenest propensity for fooling around. They appeared happy to engage in courtship and fool around with any other member of the same species in the same tank. Only in the case of the spiny seahorses were there clearly pairs that remained faithful to each other.”
“Perhaps the naturalists who first reported monogamy in seahorses had observed it in one or two species and assumed it would be universal.
“Another possibility is that the sexual behaviour is different in aquarium conditions to that in the wild.”
Weymouth’s Sea Life breeding programme began in 1995 when a fisherman off the Dorset coast accidentally caught seven long-nose spiny seahorses. Until the capture of this group the species was thought to be almost entirely extinct in British waters as a result of crude Victorian oyster fishing techniques.
A coastal life
• The spiny seahorse and short-snouted seahorse live in British coastal waters
• The female transfers eggs to the male, who fertilises them in his pouch and gives birth
• Their eyes can work independently, so they can look backwards and forwards at once
• Less than one in 1,000 fry become adults
• They can change colour quickly to match their surroundings; males and females also change colour during courtship
Source: The Seahorse Trust

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Endangered Animal News

Endangered Animal News

In this month’s section of endangered animal news you can read about all of our favorite animals at Wild Heart ranch, camels, seahorses, and of course, horses! Read about wild horses that are being offered to all at a lower price of adoption for the month of December, Seahorses for Santa and Camels on the move. And don’t forget to send us your stories on animals you have helped too!

Adoption Fee for Wild Horses Lowered
Camels Alberta Bound
Seahorses, Not Reindeer