Camel in European Countries

Doctorate on functional Revalorization of Canarian Camel

A camel researcher and colleague from Spain is looking for technical support regarding the revalorization of the Canarian camel breed. Below are his letter and email contact.

My name is Carlos Iglesias Pastrana. I am actually developing my Ph.D. thesis in the Department of Genetics, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, Córdoba (Spain). It is focused on the functional revalorization of Canarian camel (Camelus dromedarius), an autochthonous endangered camel breed and the only genetic resource of such nature in Spain and Europe. This research project is framed in the financing framework of the international project CA.RA.VA.N – “Toward a Camel Transnational Value Chain”.

Within its main objectives, the ethofunctional characterization of this camel breed includes the enhancement of a composite ethogram for camel behavior (facial and body), which will be further complemented with ridden camels to test these facial and body expressions during camel gaits performing (since the last third of the XX century, Canarian camels have been relegated for touristic/leisure activities). In this way, an ethogram for whole-camel behavior would be standardized for early diagnosis of camel suffering and, consequently, handling practices correction/improvement and therapeutical follow-up.

For this purpose, I am looking for an alternative way of detecting pain in camels by facial expressions, using still pictures. It is expected to define objective criteria for detecting/evaluating camel suffering by collecting such information/interpretations from camel experts/breeders/researchers on online surveys.

If you are familiarized with camels and their behavior and you want to participate in these preliminary projects, please let me know by answering this e-mail (“I would like to participate”) and I will send you the whole pictorial material and surveys.

I will be so pleased if you could send this e-mail to people working with camels and familiarize themselves with their behavior; but also to those who are not familiar with camel behavior but with other animal species’. This is so important as we will be able to analyze if people not familiar with camels but specialized in animal behavior could be easily trained for evaluating pain in camels.

Many thanks for your participation!

King regards,

Carlos Iglesias Pastrana

Ph.D. candidate

Department of Genetics, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, University of Córdoba, Córdoba, Spain