Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

The one-humped camel and the environment in Northern Tanzania.

Abstract

The presence and performance of the one-humped camel - exotic to Tanzania - are reviewed. Camels appeared in annual veterinary reports in 1926-1934: numbers varied from 26 (1926) to 67 (1930) and 5 (1934). In this pre-independence period they occurred mostly in the coastal provinces: lack of additional information could mean they were imported unofficially. Since independence some 340 camels have been imported privately and by NGOs. Numbers have remained low, there is no clear vacant ecological niche (a "key purpose" of introduction) for the species and its impact on producer livelihoods (another key purpose) has been limited. Camels have consumed resources that would have better been expanded on improving the performance of indigenous livestock. In Tanzania, and elsewhere, introductions of exotic livestock are often a diversion to, rather than a diversification of, the production of traditional livestock species.