The Wild Camel Protection Foundation

Wild bull camel in “mast”
Wild bull camel in “mast” © WCPF

In 1997, John Hare with Kathryn Rae founded the Wild Camel Protection Foundation (WCPF), a UK registered charity‚ with Dr. Jane Goodall DBE as its Life Patron together with an additional distinguished group of Foundation Patrons.

The Lop Nur Wild Camel National Nature Reserve

Having successfully raised substantial funding from the Global Environmental Initiative (GEF), co-managing trustee, Kathryn Rae and John Hare put forward a proposal to the Chinese Government for the establishment of the Lop Nur Wild Camel National Nature Reserve in the former nuclear test area of Lop Nur in Xinjiang Province of north-west China, to which in 2003, the Chinese government agreed to establish.

Measuring 155,000 square kilometres and almost two-thirds the size of France, the WCPF became primarily responsible for assisting the Chinese to establish one of the largest nature reserves in the world, protecting not only the wild camel but many other International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red Book listed endangered fauna and flora. John Hare is the sole international consultant for the Reserve, which is financed by the environmental department of the Chinese national government.

The discovery of a NEW SPECIES of Wild Camel 

In 2003, John Hare sent samples of wild camel blood, bone and hair, which he had collected over a period of ten years on his expeditions into the Gobi Deserts of China and Mongolia, to the Veterinary University of Vienna for DNA testing.

After five years of genetic tests, financed by WCPF, it was established that the wild camel was NOT the wild Bactrian camel, as had been previously thought, but a completely new species of double-humped camel which separated from any other known form of camel over 750,000 years ago. This is fully recognised by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and it is now officially labelled, Camelus ferus NOT Camelus bactrianus ferus.

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