Thursday, November 23, 2023

Double Humped Camel

Double Humped Camel UPSC (Bactrian Camel)

The Bactrian camel (Camelus bactrianus), also known as Double Humped Camel, is a large, domesticated, even-toed ungulate native to the steppes of Central Asia.

Unlike the more common single-humped camel, or dromedary, the Bactrian camel has two humps on its back. These humps are actually reservoirs of fat that the camel uses as a source of energy and nourishment when food and water are scarce. 

Bactrian camels are well-adapted to the harsh conditions of their native habitats, which can include extreme temperatures and limited food and water resources. Their ability to go without water for extended periods and consume thorny vegetation makes them well-suited for arid regions.

Bactrian camels are social animals and have been domesticated for thousands of years, primarily for transportation and carrying goods across the desert and difficult terrains. Their ability to withstand challenging conditions makes them valuable for transportation in regions where other means of transport might be impractical. They have also been used as a source of milk, meat, and wool. 

Wild Bactrian camels are listed as critically endangered. The main threats to their survival include habitat loss, hunting, and competition with domesticated animals. Conservation efforts are underway to protect and preserve the remaining wild populations.

Table of Contents

  • Double Humped Camel Characteristics
    • Classification
    • Scientific Name
    • Habitat
    • Physical Appearance
    • Diet
    • Behavior
    • Reproduction
    • Lifespan
    • Speed
    • Uses
  • Difference Between Double Humped Camel and Single-humped Camel
  • Double Humped Camel in India
  • Double Humped Camel Protection Status
  • Double Humped Camel Conservation in India
  • Threats
  • Double Humped Camel UPSC Question

Double Humped Camel Characteristics

Here are some characteristics of the double-humped camel (Bactrian camel):

1. Classification:

The Bactrian camel belongs to the following taxonomic classification:

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Artiodactyla
  • Family: Camelidae
  • Genus: Camelus
  • Species: Camelus bactrianus

Bactrian camel is a member of the Camelidae family, which also includes the dromedary camel (Camelus dromedarius) and various species of wild camels.

2. Scientific Name:

The scientific name of the Bactrian camel is Camelus bactrianus.

3. Habitat:

The Bactrian camel is native to the arid regions of Central Asia, and its habitat includes:

(i) Countries:

Their native range spans regions of Gobi desert, and is found on a vast expanse of cold-desert areas across Mongolia, China, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and parts of Afghanistan. These areas often have harsh climates with cold winters and hot summers.

(ii) High-Altitude, Cold-Desert Regions:

Bactrian camels are known to inhabit high-altitude, cold-desert regions. This includes areas with rocky mountain massifs, flat steppes, arid deserts (such as the Gobi Desert), stony plains, and sand dunes.

(iii) Harsh Conditions:

The conditions in their habitat are extremely harsh, characterized by sparse vegetation, limited water sources, and extreme temperatures. Bactrian camels have adapted to withstand temperatures ranging from as low as -30 °C (-22 °F) in winter to as high as 50 °C (122 °F) in summer.

(iv) Migratory Behavior:

Bactrian camels exhibit migratory behavior, and their movements are often linked to the availability of water. They may congregate near rivers after rain or at the foot of mountains, where water can be obtained from springs during the summer months and in the form of snow during the winter.

(v) Distribution and Water Availability:

The distribution of these camels is closely tied to the availability of water. Large groups may gather near rivers after rainfall or in specific locations where water can be accessed, such as springs in the summer and snow in the winter.

4. Physical Appearance:

The physical appearance of the Bactrian camel is characterized by several distinctive features that enable it to survive in its native environment. Here are key aspects of its physical appearance:

(i) Double Humps:

The most prominent feature is the presence of two humps on its back. These humps are not only a defining characteristic but also serve as reservoirs of fat, which the camel can utilize as a source of energy and sustenance during periods of food scarcity.

(ii) Coat:

Bactrian camels have a shaggy coat that provides insulation against the cold temperatures of their native habitats. The coat can vary in color, including shades of brown, gray, and even blond. A mane and beard of long hair occur on the neck and throat, with hairs measuring up to 25 cm (9.8 in) long.

(iii) Size and and Height:

Bactrian camels are large animals, with males generally being larger than females. Although shorter at the shoulder than the dromedary.

  • Shoulder height: 160 to 180 cm (5.2 to 5.9 ft)
  • Head-and-body length: 225–350 cm (7.38–11.48 ft)
  • Tail length: 35–55 cm (14–22 in)
  • Average height at the top of the humps: 213 cm (6.99 ft)

(iv) Weight:

  • Body mass: 300 to 1,000 kg (660 to 2,200 lb)
  • Males: around 600 kg (1,300 lb)
  • Females: around 480 kg (1,060 lb)

(v) Head and Neck:

They have a long, curved neck and a relatively small head compared to their body size. The head features large, expressive eyes and long eyelashes that protect against the harsh desert environment.

(vi) Legs and Feet:

Bactrian camels have long, sturdy legs with broad, tough footpads that allow them to traverse rocky and sandy terrain with ease.

(vii) Mouth:

The camel has a split upper lip, which aids in grasping vegetation, including thorny plants. This adaptation allows them to feed on a variety of plant materials.

(viii) Tail:

The tail of the Bactrian camel is relatively short and ends with a brush of coarse hair.

(ix) Ears:

Their ears are small and have a triangular shape, which helps reduce heat absorption in the hot desert environment.

(x) Long Eyelashes:

The long eyelashes of the Bactrian camel serve as a protective barrier against blowing sand and dust. They help shield the eyes from particles that might otherwise cause irritation or damage.

(xi) Sealable Nostrils:

The nostrils of the Bactrian camel are uniquely adapted to seal tightly. This adaptation allows the camel to close its nostrils in the presence of blowing sand, preventing the entry of dust and debris into the respiratory system.

5. Diet:

The Bactrian camel is a herbivorous animal with a diet adapted to the challenging conditions of its native desert and steppe habitats. Here are key aspects of the Bactrian camel's diet:

(i) Herbivorous Nature:

They are primarily herbivores, consuming a variety of plant-based materials.

(ii) Adaptations to Tough Vegetation:

Bactrian camels have tough mouths that can withstand sharp objects like thorns. This adaptation allows them to eat plants that are dry, prickly, salty, or bitter.

(iii) Versatile Diet:

They can ingest virtually any kind of vegetation, including plants that may be unpalatable or challenging for other animals.

(iv) Cannibalistic Behavior:

In extreme conditions or when other nutrient sources are not available, Bactrian camels may exhibit cannibalistic behavior by feeding on carcasses, gnawing on bones, skin, or various types of flesh.

(v) Cud-Chewing:

Bactrian camels practice cud-chewing, a digestive process where partly masticated food (cud) is regurgitated for further chewing. This allows for more efficient digestion of fibrous plant materials.

(vi) Snow Consumption for Water Needs:

Bactrian camels are among the animals that regularly eat snow to meet their water needs. This behavior is especially crucial in regions where snow and ice are the primary sources of water during winter.

(vii) Hardiness and Water Conservation:

Bactrian camels are hardy animals that can survive without water for days. They can survive without water for at least 72 hours. Their ability to store energy in the form of fat in their humps allows them to endure periods when food is scarce or water is unavailable.

(viii) Energy Storage in Humps:

The humps of Bactrian camels serve as storehouses of energy, consisting of fatty tissue. These fats are utilized during times when food is scarce, providing the camels with a source of energy.

6. Behavior:

The behavior of Bactrian camels is shaped by their natural environment and evolutionary adaptations to survive in harsh conditions. Here are some key aspects of their behavior:

(i) Diurnal Activity:

Bactrian camels are diurnal, meaning they are active during the day. They typically forage for food and engage in other activities during daylight hours.

(ii) Social Structure:

In the wild, Bactrian camels often form small groups. These groups may be led by a dominant male, and they exhibit social behaviors such as grooming and vocalizations to communicate with each other.

(iii) Foraging and Feeding:

They spend a significant portion of their day foraging for vegetation, utilizing their tough mouths to consume a variety of plants, including those that are dry, prickly, salty, or bitter.

(iv) Cud-Chewing:

Bactrian camels practice cud-chewing as part of their digestive process. This involves regurgitating partly masticated food (cud) to be re-chewed, aiding in the breakdown of fibrous plant materials.

(v) Water Consumption:

Bactrian camels have the ability to drink large amounts of water when it is available. In regions with sparse water sources, they may go without water for days, relying on their capacity to store water-efficiently in their bodies.

(vi) Snow Eating:

They are one of the few animals that regularly eat snow to meet their water needs, especially in areas where snow and ice are the primary sources of water during winter.

(vi) Cannibalistic Behavior:

In extreme conditions, when other nutrient sources are scarce, Bactrian camels may exhibit cannibalistic behavior by feeding on carcasses, bones, and flesh.

(vii) Temperature Tolerance:

Bactrian camels are well-adapted to cold climates and can endure temperatures as low as minus-30 degrees Celsius. Their shaggy coat provides insulation against the cold, and their physiological adaptations help them thrive in such extreme conditions.

(viii) Disease Resistance:

Bactrian camels are known for their high disease resistance. This resilience may be attributed to their ability to survive in challenging environments where diseases can be prevalent. Their robust immune systems contribute to their overall hardiness.

(ix) Independence from Supplementary Feed:

Bactrian camels are known for their ability to thrive without supplementary feed. This self-sufficiency is particularly important in areas where access to additional food resources may be limited.

(x) Versatility in Diet:

Their capacity to eat a wide range of vegetation, including thorny and less palatable plants, allows them to adapt to environments with sparse vegetation.

(xi) Nomadic Lifestyle:

Bactrian camels traditionally exhibit a nomadic lifestyle, moving across vast expanses of land in search of food and water. This behavior aligns with their natural instincts and adaptations to survive in arid and semi-arid reg

7. Reproduction:

Reproduction in Bactrian camels involves specific behaviors and adaptations to their environment. Here are key aspects of the reproductive process in Bactrian camels:

(i) Puberty and Breeding Season:

Bactrian camels attain puberty at the age of two and a half years. The breeding season typically begins in December and lasts until March.

(ii) Mating Behavior:

Males during mating time can display aggressive behaviors, including biting, spitting, and attempts to sit on other male camels.

(iii) Induced Ovulation:

Bactrian camels are induced ovulators, meaning they ovulate after insemination. The seminal plasma, not the spermatozoa, induces ovulation. Ovulation occurs in a significant percentage of females after insemination.

(iv) Ovulation Timing:

Ovulation typically occurs in 87% of females after insemination, with 66% ovulating within 36 hours and the remainder by 48 hours.

(v) Gestation and Calving:

The gestation period lasts around 13 months, and one or occasionally two calves are produced. The female can give birth to a new calf every other year.

(vi) Precocial Young:

Young Bactrian camels are precocial, meaning they are born relatively mature and able to stand and run shortly after birth. The average birth weight is around 36 kg (79 lb).

(vii) Nursing and Maternal Care:

Calves are nursed for about 1.5 years. The young calf stays with its mother for three to five years, until it reaches sexual maturity, and often assists in raising subsequent generations during those years.

8. Lifespan:

The average lifespan of the Bactrian camel, or double-humped camel, is typically reported to be in the range of 25 to 30 years. However, lifespans can be influenced by various factors, including environmental conditions, access to resources like food and water, health care, and whether the camel is in a wild or domesticated setting.

In well-managed captive environments, where the camels receive proper care and nutrition, they may sometimes live beyond the average reported range. Conversely, in the wild, where factors such as predation, food scarcity, and harsh environmental conditions come into play, lifespans might be shorter.

9. Speed:

Bactrian camels, like many camel species, are not known for their speed. They are well-adapted to traverse long distances in arid environments, but their movement is generally steady and deliberate rather than fast. The speed of a Bactrian camel depends on various factors, including its age, health, and the conditions of the terrain.

In general, Bactrian camels can walk at a comfortable pace of around 3 to 5 kilometers per hour (1.9 to 3.1 miles per hour). Their ability to carry heavy loads over long distances makes them valuable for transportation in certain regions. However, when it comes to running or achieving high speeds, camels are not as fleet-footed as some other animals.

Camels are more known for their endurance and stamina, allowing them to cover substantial distances in harsh environments with minimal water and food. Their unique adaptations, such as specialized feet for walking on sand and the ability to store fat in their humps, make them well-suited for survival in arid regions.

10. Uses:

Bactrian camels have been integral to the lives of people in the regions where they are found, providing various uses and serving as important domesticated animals. Here are some of the key uses of Bactrian camels:

(i) Transportation:

Bactrian camels have historically been used as pack animals for transporting goods across long distances in arid and remote regions. Their ability to carry heavy loads makes them valuable for trade and transportation. Their ability to carry heavy loads, ranging from 500 to 600 kg at more than 17,000 feet, far exceeds that of smaller pack animals like pack ponies, which typically carry 60 to 70 kg.

(ii) Nomadic Lifestyle:

Nomadic communities in Central Asia have traditionally relied on Bactrian camels for their nomadic lifestyle. These camels are well-suited for moving with nomadic tribes, carrying their belongings and supplies.

(iii) Milk Production:

Bactrian camels provide milk, which is an important source of nutrition for people in the region. Camel milk is known for its nutritional value and the ability to sustain people in arid environments.

(iv) Meat:

In some cultures, Bactrian camels are raised for their meat. Camel meat is consumed in various forms and is a source of protein.

(v) Wool and Fiber:

The wool and coarse hair from Bactrian camels are used for making textiles, including clothing, rugs, and other traditional items. The fine wool is prized for its quality. The thick coat of hair and wool on Bactrian camels serves as insulation against cold and harsh winters. Adult camels yield wool annually, with an average of 2-4 kg of fine wool and around 3 kg of coarse wool. This wool is used in the manufacturing of various products, including caps, sweaters, and mufflers.

(vi) Tourism:

In certain areas, Bactrian camels are used in the tourism industry. Tourists may experience camel rides or camel treks, providing an opportunity to explore landscapes in a traditional manner.

(vii) Dung as Fuel:

Camel dung is used as fuel in some regions. It is dried and used for cooking and heating in areas where other fuel sources may be scarce.

(viii) Cultural and Religious Significance:

Bactrian camels hold cultural and religious significance in some societies. They may be featured in traditional ceremonies, festivals, or as symbols in local folklore.

(ix) Companionship:

Bactrian camels, particularly in domesticated settings, can serve as companions to their caretakers. Their docile nature makes them suitable for human interaction.

(x) Agricultural Activities:

In some regions, Bactrian camels are employed in agricultural activities. Their strength and ability to endure harsh conditions make them suitable for tasks such as plowing fields.

The multifaceted uses of Bactrian camels highlight their importance to the livelihoods and cultural practices of the people in Central Asia and other regions where they are found. Their unique adaptations and abilities have allowed them to play diverse roles in human societies for centuries.

Difference Between Double Humped Camel and Single-humped Camel

What is the difference between one hump camel and two hump camel?

The main differences between the double-humped camel (Bactrian camel) and the single-humped camel (Dromedary camel) are related to their physical characteristics, geographic distribution, and some aspects of their behavior. Here's a breakdown of these differences:

1. Hump Number:

The most obvious distinction is the number of humps. The Bactrian camel has two humps, and the Dromedary camel has a single hump.

2. Water-retaining Capacity:

The double-humped camel has more water-retaining capacity than the Dromedarian.

3. Geographic Distribution:

The Bactrian camel is native to the Central Asian steppes and deserts, including regions in Mongolia, China, Iran, Afghanistan, and parts of Russia. The Dromedary camel is found in the Middle East, North Africa, and some parts of South Asia.

4. Adaptation to Cold and Hot Environments:

Bactrian camels, with their double layer of fur and humps, are well-adapted to cold environments, such as the frigid winters of Central Asia. Dromedary camels, with a single hump and a lighter coat, are better adapted to hot desert environments.

5. Coat Color:

Bactrian camels typically have a shaggier and darker coat compared to the lighter coat of Dromedary camels. Bactrian camel has a shorter coat and smaller than dromedarian.

6. Body Size:

Bactrian camels are generally larger and heavier than Dromedary camels. Bactrian camels have a more robust build to endure colder climates.

7. Ear Shape:

The ears of Bactrian camels are smaller and more compact compared to the larger and more triangular ears of Dromedary camels.

8. Behavioral Differences:

There are some behavioral differences as well. Bactrian camels are often considered more docile and cooperative compared to Dromedary camels, which can be known for their sometimes more independent and assertive behavior.

9. Cultural Uses:

In different regions, Bactrian and Dromedary camels have been traditionally used for various purposes. For example, Dromedary camels have been historically important for trade and transportation in the Arabian Peninsula, while Bactrian camels have played a significant role in Central Asian nomadic cultures.

10. Number of Chromosomes:

Bactrian camels have 66 chromosomes, while Dromedary camels have 70 chromosomes.

Despite these differences, both types of camels share common characteristics, such as their ability to survive in arid environments, their capacity to store fat in their humps, and their crucial role in the livelihoods of the people in the regions where they are found.

Double Humped Camel in India

The double-humped camel, also known as the Bactrian Camel, is not native to India but has found a habitat in certain regions, most notably in the high-altitude areas of Ladakh. 

1. Native Habitat:

The double-humped camel is originally native to the Gobi Desert and is naturally found in cold-desert regions across Mongolia, China, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and parts of Afghanistan.

2. Presence in Ladakh:

In India, the double-humped camel is primarily found in the Nubra Valley of Ladakh at elevations exceeding 12,000 feet. The high-altitude and cold desert terrain of Ladakh provides a suitable environment for these camels.

3. Historical Significance:

Historically, the double-humped camel played a significant role in trade and transportation along the traditional Silk Route between Tibet and Ladakh. Camel caravans were vital for transporting goods such as tea, silk, and porcelain from China to the Middle East, Byzantine empire, and Rome. Traders from Central Asian countries also used the camels to carry their merchandise to Ladakh and the adjoining cold desert regions via the Karakoram pass.

4. Introduction to Kashmir:

Hazrat Mir Sayeed Ali Hamdani, a revered Sufi saint, introduced double-humped camels to Kashmir during his first visit in 872 ad. Accompanied by 700 companions, he utilized these camels for transportation. The camels were instrumental in crossing the cold desert from Iran to Kashmir via the Silk Route.

In the years 874 AD and 876 AD, Hazrat Mir Sayeed Ali Hamdani and his companions made additional trips to Kashmir, continuing to use these camels for transportation. Due to the absence of roads, the double-humped camels became the ideal mode of transportation for the journeys undertaken by Hazrat Mir Sayeed Ali Hamdani and his companions.

Over time, tribes residing on the Indian side of the border, such as Barcha, Chonjor, Kalon, Shanku, and Shaban, became involved in breeding and maintaining these camels. The animals were extensively used for carrying goods and merchandise.

5. Abandoned Bactrian Camels in Ladakh:

With the closure of traditional trade routes in the early 1950s, a few Bactrian camels used for carrying heavy loads from China were abandoned by traders in Nubra Valley in Ladakh. 

6. Changes in Utility:

The construction of roads, the utility of double-humped camels for transportation diminished. Even after closing of the Karakoram route connecting Yarkand in northwest China, these animals were used for transport across Changla via Durbook and the Changtang part of Tibet.

7. Survival Challenges:

Following the Chinese aggression in 1962 and the sealing of the Indian border with Tibet, the existence of the Yarkandi camel (a type of double-humped camel) in South Asia became restricted to the cold desert of the Nubra Valley. 

8. Relocation:

The emergence of roads diminished the practicality of camels for transportation, making their upkeep less profitable in the Leh region. Consequently, around 1965, approximately 60 camels were relocated from Leh to the foliage-rich Nubra Valley.

9. Population Increase:

Despite challenges, the double-humped camel population has shown an increasing trend. As of 2018, there were 211 camels in the Nubra Valley. The largest population is observed in Hunder village, followed by Sumoor, Diskit, and Tigger.

Double Humped Camel Protection Status

Here is the information regarding the protection status of the double-humped camel:

IUCN Status:

The double-humped camel, also known as the Bactrian camel (Camelus bactrianus), is listed as "Critically Endangered" on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. This indicates that the species faces an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.

Double Humped Camel Conservation in India

The conservation efforts for the double-humped camel in India have been marked by both challenges and initiatives:

1. Decline and Early Efforts:

The decline in the double-humped camel population prompted measures by the state government and local organizations to rejuvenate the Yarkandi camel population. In 1986, a door-to-door survey aimed at encouraging locals to rear the animals was carried out by a working group on development of cold desert.

2. Animal Husbandry Department Initiatives:

In 1988, the animal husbandry department purchased four camels from local breeders to raise and multiply them.

3. Collaboration:

The latest conservation project is led by the Field Research Laboratory (FRL), a unit of the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO), in collaboration with the Indian Camel Research Institute in Bikaner, Rajasthan. A camel breeding farm has been established in Pratabpur, Leh, to breed double-humped Yarkandis scientifically and rear them with care.

4. Local Contribution to Population Increase:

The efforts of the residents of Hunder village in Nubra Valley, who used the camels for camel safaris since 2003, significantly contributed to the increase in numbers. From six camels in 1962, the population rose to 250 in 2017.

5. Tourism:

Camel safaris in the white sand deserts of Hunder and Diksit, along with the picturesque Shook River, have become a major tourist attraction. It help to maintain their population.

6. Military Use:

The Indian Army is now utilizing double-humped camels for transportation and patrolling in eastern Ladakh's challenging terrain. The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is involved in breeding these camels in Leh for military use.

While challenges persist, collaborative efforts by research institutions, the military, and local communities aim to ensure the survival and well-being of the double-humped camel in the unique and demanding environment of Ladakh.


The double-humped camels of the Nubra Valley in Ladakh face various threats, including:

1. Lack of Government Support:

Farm owners express dissatisfaction with the state government, citing insufficient support for both them and their unique animals. Demands include the creation of shelters for the animals and financial assistance to sustain their camel safari business.

2. Medical and Nutritional Challenges:

The Bactrian camels are reportedly facing health issues and inadequate nutrition. Lack of medicines and sufficient food in the cold desert of Ladakh has led to the death of camels. Villagers argue that the government has failed to provide essential medicines and adequate food, contributing to a decline in the camel population.

3. Herd Vulnerability:

The government's failure to identify separate pastures for these camels makes them vulnerable to attacks from local farmers.

4. Environmental Threats:

The inhospitable terrain poses a severe threat, with newborn camel calves being at risk of drowning in the Shayok River. Surviving camels face the danger of wolf attacks.

5. Reduced Utility and Tourism Dependency:

Modern transportation has reduced the utility of these camels, relegating them to a tourist attraction in the Nubra Valley. Camel-riding, a popular tourist activity, has become the primary use for these animals.

6. Limited Economic Value:

Without widespread consumption of camel milk, the economic value of the species is limited. The copious quantities of camel hair contribute to small cottage industries, but sustaining the species solely through tourism may be challenging.

7. Abandonment and Ecological Impact:

Abandoned by owners, some camels graze on the banks of the Siachen and Shayok rivers, posing threats to local vegetation. Some camels developed a taste for Hypophia leaves, causing damage to plants and endangering their lives. 

8. Locals Attack:

Local residents have reportedly maimed camels, considering them a threat to the fragile ecology of the region.

The combination of these factors poses a significant risk to the survival and well-being of the double-humped camels in the Nubra Valley, highlighting the need for comprehensive conservation measures and support from relevant authorities.

Double Humped Camel UPSC Question

Q. Where are double humped camels found?

A. Double-humped camels, also known as Bactrian camels, are primarily found in the cold-desert regions of Central Asia. Their native range includes areas across:

  • Mongolia
  • China
  • Kazakhstan
  • Turkmenistan
  • Uzbekistan
  • Parts of Afghanistan

In addition to their native range, double-humped camels have also been introduced to other regions, including Ladakh in India. They are well-adapted to high-altitude, cold-desert environments, making them suited for the harsh conditions of these areas.

Q. Is double humped camel found in India?

A. Yes, double-humped camels are found in India, specifically in the region of Ladakh. The Nubra Valley in Ladakh, including areas around Deskit and Hunder, is known for hosting a population of double-humped camels.

These camels were historically used as part of the trade routes, including the Silk Road. Over the years, they have become a cultural and tourist attraction in the region, offering camel safaris in the unique landscapes of Ladakh. 

Q. Is double humped camel naturally found in India only?

A. No, the double-humped camel is not naturally found only in India. Its native range extends beyond India to various parts of Central Asia. The natural habitat of the Bactrian camel includes regions in Mongolia, China, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and parts of Afghanistan. These camels are well-adapted to the cold-desert environments of Central Asia.

While the Bactrian camel is not native to India, there is a population of these camels in the Nubra Valley of Ladakh. This population in Ladakh is the result of historical trade routes and the use of Bactrian camels for transportation in the region.

Q. What is a two humped camel called?

A. A two-humped camel is commonly known as a Bactrian camel. The Bactrian camel (Camelus bactrianus) is native to the cold deserts of Central Asia and is characterized by having two humps on its back. The term "Bactrian" refers to the historical region of Bactria, which is part of modern-day Afghanistan, where these camels are native.

Q. What are 2 humped camels called and why do they have 2 humps?

A. Two-humped camels are called Bactrian camels. The name "Bactrian" is derived from the historical region of Bactria, which is part of Central Asia, where these camels are native.

The Bactrian camel has two humps on its back, and the presence of these humps serves as a unique adaptation to its environment. The humps are not filled with water, as is a common misconception, but with fat. The fat serves as an energy reserve that the camel can utilize when food and water are scarce. This adaptation allows Bactrian camels to survive in the harsh, arid conditions of the cold deserts of Central Asia, where vegetation is sparse, water sources are limited, and temperatures can be extreme. The stored fat can be metabolized to provide the camel with both energy and water during times of scarcity.

Q. What is the IUCN status of the double humped camel?

A. The double-humped camel is listed as "Critically Endangered" on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. This designation signifies that the species is facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild. The critical status underscores the urgency of conservation efforts to protect and preserve the remaining populations of this unique camel species.

Q. Why are 2 hump camels endangered?

A. The Bactrian camel, or two-humped camel, is listed as endangered for several reasons:

1. Habitat Loss: The Bactrian camel's natural habitat, the cold deserts of Central Asia, has been affected by human activities such as infrastructure development, mining, and agricultural expansion, leading to habitat loss and fragmentation.

2. Climate Change: Changes in climate patterns, including shifts in temperature and precipitation, can impact the availability of food and water sources for Bactrian camels. Climate change also contributes to the melting of ice and snow, affecting water availability.

3. Overgrazing: Competition for grazing lands with livestock and other wildlife can lead to overgrazing, reducing the availability of suitable forage for Bactrian camels.

4. Poaching: Bactrian camels are sometimes poached for their meat, hide, and other body parts. While this is not the primary threat, it can contribute to population decline, especially in areas with inadequate law enforcement.

5. Inadequate Conservation Measures: Limited conservation efforts and inadequate protective measures contribute to the challenges faced by Bactrian camels. Conservation initiatives are essential for the survival of endangered species.

6. Human-Animal Conflict: Encounters with humans and domestic animals can result in conflicts, potentially leading to harm to the camels or retaliatory measures against them.

Double Humped Camel

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