Historical traces and perspectival possibilities of traditional camel keeping in Carpathian Basin

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Abstract

In this paper we have gathered and put into context all accessible sources regarding one-hump (dromedary—Camelus dromedarius) or two-hump Bactrian camels (Camelus bactrianus) in the Carpathian Basin. Reviewed sources and empirical statements have pointed out the growing European demand for camel meat and milk. These species are capable of grazing overexploited and bush-encroached pastures, besides producing valuable fibre in the form of camel hair, and be used in the tourism business as well. Because of anatomical and physiological adaptations, both species are capable of digesting rough fibre and vegetation unused by other livestock species. Therefore, camels are the ideal choice for pasture rehabilitation, especially in shrublands and overgrown areas. Both species are flexible browsers in extensive grazing systems due to their adaptation to steppe regions. Dromedaries are more suited to dry hot ecosystems while Bactrian camels are more adapted to a cold and wetter environment. Dromedary and Bactrian camel cross-breeding practices present modern solutions for introducing these species into pasture-based livestock farming. Dromedary genetic dominance increases milk production with lower milk fat. Bactrian genes deliver higher wool production and more resilient calves. Beyond the agricultural and conservation functions, the ethnographical and cultural roles are also important in Hungarian folklore.

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Halasz, A., Csizi, I., & Kenez, A. (2021, December 1). Historical traces and perspectival possibilities of traditional camel keeping in Carpathian Basin. Pastoralism. Springer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13570-021-00200-w

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