The Australian Feral Camel Management Project (AFCMP) was a partnership of 20 organisations, supported by the Australian Government, that was contracted in 2010 to reduce the density of feral camels, with the primary aim of decreasing the threat to the ecological and biodiversity value at 18 sites in remote Australia and a secondary objective to protect vegetation, and therefore soils, on pastoral lands. The project largely achieved its feral camel density targets around the 18 environmental sites and exceeded the target number and area of pastoral properties on which feral camels were managed.
The feral camel population is estimated to be around 300,000 and there is now a real opportunity to maintain the low-density populations that have been achieved in the Simpson Desert and Pilbara regions. There is more work to be done in the Surveyor Generals Corner region to achieve and maintain lower densities, with major landholders in this region having a strong preference for commercial use as their form of feral camel management. The project has helped build the commercial and non-commercial feral camel removal capacity to achieve feral camel management objectives into the future.
The project has demonstrated the potential that well-coordinated, crosstenure collaborations have to manage landscape-scale natural resource management (NRM) issues. It has developed a range of capacities, systems and collaborations that will benefit future large feral herbivore and other NRM projects in the rangelands.