Camels under threat from water shortage

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A scientist working with rare wild camels in northwest China has told of research showing the animals are increasing in number but are coming under threat from drought.

The camels, among the most endangered large mammals on Earth, undergo seasonal migration of several hundred km through the sandy Annanba Nature Reserve.

There are only 420 to 470 of them in China, even fewer than the number of wild pandas.

Bai Shengxuan, a research director with the Annanba reserve, said research had shown their number in the area has increased because of protection efforts.

However, research also found a current severe water shortage is a worry, even for animals which can famously survive long periods of thirst.

Bai said more pools would be built, and weather modification technologies would also be adopted to bring more precipitation.

The research director urged people to help with the camels’ rehabilitation by not interfering with them or their habitat. “Every single detail in the Gobi desert is closely related to the fate of China’s wild camels,” he said.Xinhua



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