Camels verses Quandong... the loser is clear
12 April 2021
Quandong (native peach) is an important high-vitamin C bush food for Traditional Owners in the AW region. Annual photographic and analysis records of transects have been carried out by AW since 2015 with the base-line survey undertaken in 2009.
Monitored trees across all transects clearly show heavy impact from camel browsing and in some cases irreversibly damaged. There is a direct correlation between the growth of feral camel populations with increasing and excessive impacts on the region's native ecology.
Repeated monitoring of some transects showed increased loss of biomass in relatively short periods of time with a recorded trajectory of around 90% of the trees having either major damage or no leaves left except the crown.
A ‘tree health score’ is assigned annually by analysing photographs taken of each quandong tree to provide historic reference of change. These photos also show the likely source of damage through observation of the biomass (tree's branches and leaves) gain or loss and other visible indicators such as Camel kuna (scats) or tjina (tracks).
The data collected on these surveys informs project planning and help support a stronger more sustainable landscape to flourish.