Can Angry Young Males Save a Critically Endangered Camel?
Chinese remote sensing expert leads the way in tracking wild camels in the Gobi Desert.
When a Chinese professor, a leader in the team committed to dispatching a Chinese probe to the moon, sends me three satellite maps, I pay serious attention.
As well as probing the surface of the moon, my friend Liu Shaochuang (“the professor,” as I call him), of the Remote Sensing Unit at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, in Beijing, is helping monitor the movements of wild, double-humped camels in the vastness of the Gobi Desert in Mongolia. The camels are wearing collars equipped with special receivers, and their locations are recorded by satellite every 24 hours.
The dead-of-winter months, roughly from November to February, are when the male camels start their seasonal three-month-long “rut.” As temperatures drop into the minus 30s, the camels’