Bikaner institute join hands with Kashmir varsity to study double hump camels
The aim of the study is to find out the genes responsible for adaptation in the camels, both single hump and double-hump.jaipur Updated: May 23, 2017 20:51 IST
The National Research Centre on Camel (NRCC) in Bikaner will soon sign a MoU with the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) to study double hump camels, NRCC director Dr NV Patil said.
The aim of the study is to find out the genes responsible for adaptation in the camels, both single hump and double-hump, and later use those genes to increase survival abilities in humans, he said.
The double-hump camel, found in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, can survive temperatures as low as -40 degrees Celsius, areas with very low oxygen, and also has high immunity.
On the other hand, the single hump camel, which is one of the two state animals of Rajasthan, is known to survive in temperatures above 50° Celsius. In addition, the single hump camel also braves temperatures below zero degree Celsius in winters in Rajasthan.
As part of the research, the NRCC sent four single-hump camels — two males and two females — to Ladakh last month. “We are studying their genes at the molecular level and also their behaviour,” said Patil. He added that the camels seem to be doing fine in Ladakh.
The NRCC will bring a couple of double hump camels from Ladakh to Bikaner in winters to study them. “The temperature here is very high and the camels from Ladakh might not be able to withstand the heat if we bring them now. In winters, it’ll adapt itself to the conditions here and approach the summers gradually as it comes,” said Patil.
There are only a little over 200 double hump camels in the country. Their number plummeted to about 50 five years ago, the director said. Another dimension of the research is to find a utility for these camels which until now is being used only for tourist rides.
If the research proves to be successful, it will hugely improve resilience and climate adaptation among humans, he said.