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Biodiversity of Domestic Livestock in the Republic of Yemen

  • Bartridge Partners


This paper describes the domestic livestock of the Republic of Yemen and aspires to complement earlier sources listing or partially describing 'breeds'. It attempts to cover all species and provide indications of production parameters through a literature review and via field observations made by the author in 1999. Information is provided on livestock numbers and the economic importance of animal production. Most animals are kept in sedentary mixed crop-livestock production systems; transhumant systems have the next greatest number of stock; with nomadic systems being of least and declining importance. Yemen's livestock appear to comprise at least 11 breeds of sheep, 5 breeds of goat, 2 breeds of cattle, 4 breeds of camel, 2 breeds of donkey and 1 breed of horse. There are no data on breeds of poultry but domestic fowl (where clearly considerable diversity exists) and pigeons are kept. There is little formal information on the history and relationships of most breeds. Some appear to be of ancient local origin, whereas others show affinities with those of neighbouring and other countries. None of the identified types is considered endangered, so conservation would be premature. A more formal and detailed genetic characterization, to add to the largely morphological and traditional classification, may, however, reveal such a need.
Biodiversity of Domestic Livestock in the Republic of Yemen
R.T. Wilson
Bartridge House, Umberleigh, North Devon, EX37 9AS, UK
Wilson, R.T., 2003. Biodiversity of domestic livestock in the Republic of Yemen. Tropical Animal Health
and Production,35(1), 27^46
This paper describes the domestic livestock of the Republic of Yemen and aspires to complement earlier
sources listing or partially describing `breeds'. It attempts to cover all species and provide indications of
production parameters through a literature review and via ¢eld observations made by the author in
1999. Information is provided on livestock numbers and the economic importance of animal
production. Most animals are kept in sedentary mixed crop^livestock production systems; transhumant
systems have the next greatest number of stock; with nomadic systems being of least and declining
importance. Yemen's livestock appear to comprise at least 11 breeds of sheep, 5 breeds of goat, 2 breeds
of cattle, 4 breeds of camel, 2 breeds of donkey and 1 breed of horse. There are no data on breeds of
poultry but domestic fowl (where clearly considerable diversity exists) and pigeons are kept. There is
little formal information on the history and relationships of most breeds. Some appear to be of ancient
local origin, whereas others show a¤nities with those of neighbouring and other countries. None of the
identi¢ed types is considered endangered, so conservation would be premature. A more formal and
detailed genetic characterization, to add to the largely morphological and traditional classi¢cation,
may, however, reveal such a need.
Keywords: breeds, camel, cattle, donkey, genotype, goat, poultry, sheep
The Republic of Yemen was formed in 1990 by the amalgamation of the former Yemen
Arab Republic (North Yemen) and the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (South
Yemen, which had formerly been the Aden Protectorate under British rule). The
country occupies the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bounded to the north
by Saudi Arabia, to the east by Muscat, to the west by the Red Sea and to the south by
the Gulf of Aden. Its estimated population of 17.49 million people occupied the land
area of 527 970 km
at a density of 33.1 persons/km
in 2000. Altitude ranges from sea
level to 3760 m. The country is mostly desert, with a hot and humid coastal strip (the
Tihama) in the west and a temperate zone in the western mountains. Rainfall is
generally low and falls mainly in June^September, when it is governed by the seasonal
monsoon. The western coastal strip has some rainfall in December^February. Some
3% of the land area is used for annual cropping; woodland and forests occuply 4% of
the country; and pastures cover 30% and `other' 63%. The last category is mainly desert
and is used for opportunistic seasonal grazing, but lack of surface water severely limits
the area that can be used in this way. Overgrazing, soil erosion and deserti¢cation are
considered to be the main environmental problems.
Tropical Animal Health and Production, 35 (2003) 27^46
#2003 Kluwer Academ ic Publishers. Printed in the Netherl ands
Agriculture employed 58% of the labour force and accounted for 20% of Yemen's
gross domestic product (GDP) in 2000. Livestock are estimated to contribute 20% to
the agricultural GDP. The contribution of livestock does not, however, include the
non-monetarized values of draught and transport operations or the use of dung as
manure and fuel.
In 1998, it was estimated that the national livestock population comprised about 4.5
million sheep, 4 million goats, 1.3 million cattle and 183 thousand camels (MAI, 1999).
There are no data on the numbers of horses, donkeys or poultry but the population of
donkeys may be in the region of 0.5 million and of local domestic fowl (`chickens') of
the order of 5^6 million. Farm animals not only produce meat, milk and draught
power but also contribute to ¢nancing crop operations when they are sold at the start
of a cultivation cycle to buy seeds and other inputs and to pay for equipment repairs.
They also act as a store of wealth for rural dwellers, who have no access to banking or
savings institutions, and are sold to buy food in the `hungry gap' period before the next
season's crops are harvested. They contribute further to crop production in the use of
their manure as fertilizer and for soil stabilization. Women are responsible for much of
the day-to-day management and often for longer-term management of livestock and
many animals ^ in a country where opportunities for gender equality are still largely
lacking ^ are owned by women.
Live animals, meat and dairy products, honey, and hides and skins contribute
varying but usually relative major amounts to export revenue. Hides and skins valued
at US$ 9.4 million were exported in 1997, live animal exports were valued at US$ 3.7
million, and there were exports of dairy products of US$ 1.4 million, meat products
of US$ 53 000 and honey of US$ 0.6 million. The total value of exports of animals
and animal products at US$ 15 million was equivalent to 32% of all agricultural
exports. Exports of hides and skins were second only to those of co¡ee in value.
Export values for live animals, meat and dairy products were, however, greatly
exceeded by the value of imports, at US$ 17.9 million, US$ 31.4 million and US$
71.0 million, respectively.
There does not appear to be a comprehensive paper describing the domestic animals
of Yemen, although there are several scattered articles in the formal and grey literature
relating toYemeni livestock. This paper aspires to complement the earlier sources that
have listed or partially described the `breeds' of livestock. It does so by attempting a
comprehensive listing of all species and identi¢ed types, taking into account the
limitations of the published and grey literature. It also provides physical descriptions,
where possible, and o¡ers some indications of production parameters where these are
available. Exotic as well as indigenous animals are covered, but the emphasis is on the
native or anciently introduced livestock of the country, as these are the ones about
which least is known.
Information collected and collated through a review of the literature was
supplemented with ¢eld observations made by the author during travels and surveys
in Yemen in 1999. Further information was obtained from o¤cials and livestock
owners in many parts of the country. There is little to no information on the
production traits of most of the types described. Similarly, there are no valid
comparisons of performance of the usually very small numbers of animals of
introduced genotypes and local genotypes under controlled conditions and none on
the performance of any exotics introduced into the native (i.e. traditional) environ-
Most livestock are owned by mixed farmers in both the highlands and lowlands of the
country (Table I), with the next most important system being that of transhumant
farmers and the least important being nomadic farmers, whose numbers are continu-
ing to decrease. Most farming families own at least one species of quadruped livestock,
but the number of animals owned is low (Table II). Cattle are owned by more families
than any other species, but in rather small numbers: they are triple-purpose animals
producing milk, meat and some power. Donkeys are owned by a majority of families,
but most families own only one animal: this is the uniquitous beast of burden and is
replacing the ox on many farms for power applications, including ploughing and
threshing. Sheep are owned by about one family in three and goats by about one family
in four, but the families owning these species have relatively large numbers of animals
that are used for both meat and milk. Camels are owned in small numbers by few
families and, as for cattle, are triple-purpose animals, although their transport and
power roles seem to be considerably diminished compared to their importance in the
In the smallholder mixed systems, the association of livestock with crop production
allows cattle, horses, donkeys and camels to provide draught power for arable
operations and all livestock species to produce organic manure to maintain soil
fertility. The bene¢ts are higher crop yields, increased income and greater household
food security.
Distribution (numbers) of livestock in major production systems in the Republic of Yemen
Livestock species Number
Production Number of ööööööööööööööööööö of tropical
system families/farms Sheep/goat Cattle Camel livestock units
Lowland mixed 350 000 2 500 000 450 000 115 000 680 000
Highland mixed 300 000 2 700 000 550 000 0 655 000
Transhumant livestock 20 000 800 000 100 000 0 150 000
Nomadic livestock 15 000 100 000 0 60 000 70 000
Total 685 000 6 100 000 1 100 000 175 000 1 550 000
Source: MAI (1999)
Tropical livestock unit of 250 kg: sheep/goat = 0.1, cattle = 0.7, camel = 1.0
In the pastoral or extensive range-based systems, the use of several species is the
norm. This strategy reduces risk, as species have variable responses to natural disasters
and di¡erent rates of reconstitution of numbers following losses. Herding of several
species also allows more even use of the feed supply available at di¡erent times of the
year and thus contributes to food security, reduced environmental pressure and
sustainable production.
Yemen has a broad range of domestic animals that includes sheep, goats, cattle, camels,
donkeys and poultry (Figures 1 and 2), as well as a very few horses. The adaptive traits
of the indigenous stock, that enable them to tolerate or resist some diseases, make use
of poor quality feeds and survive under harsh climatic conditions, render them rather
well ¢tted to their local environment. The animals are also an integral part of local
ecosystems and contribute to their stability. Livestock have been very important in the
country for many centuries and contribute in many ways to household and national
The global database of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) (FAO, 1998)
has very little information on Yemen's native livestock breeds (Table III) and some of
this is taken from other sources. Eleven `breeds' of hair and wool sheep (including
colour varieties) and ¢ve of goats (also including colour varieties) are listed. Two breeds
of cattle ^ one zebu (Bos indicus) and one humpless (Bos taurus) ^ are recognized, with
the latter con¢ned to Socotra Island in the Indian Ocean, o¡ Cape Gardafui (the Horn
of Africa). Camels have been assigned to four breeds. Two breeds of donkey and one of
horse are identi¢ed. There appears to be no formal information on local poultry, which
are overwhelmingly domestic fowl with a few pigeons in the coastal area and elsewhere.
Livestock ownership patterns in the Republic of Yemen
Percentage of Average number per
Livestock species households owning owning household
Cattle 74.9 2.1
Donkey 52.6 1.4
Sheep 32.6 14.4
Goat 24.0 11.7
Camel 7.6 1.6
Source: MAI (1999)
Figure 1. Sheep and goat types of the Republic of Yemen. From left to right and from top to
bottom: Ainsi, Amran Black, Taiz Red, Dhamar, Taiz Black, Mareb White, Surdud, Taiz Red
Figure 2. Cattle, donkey and domestic fowl types of the Republic of Yemen. From left to right
and from top to bottom: Yemen Shorthorn zebu young male, Yemem Shorthorn zebu cow,
Subyani donkey, one-humped camel (?Areka type), Qaramani donkey female, Qaramani
donkey male, three varieties of domestic fowl
Attribution to breeds is, however, based mainly on morphological parameters or in
some cases on local classi¢cations (i.e. the indigenous knowledge system) and there is,
as yet, no more rigorous characterization using modern biotechnology or DNA
All the sheep in Yemen have a fat tail although the conformation of the tail varies
considerably. The other major distinguishing feature used in classifying types is the
presence or absence of wool (Hasnain et al., 1994). As already indicated, the major
earlier sources of information name 11 breeds of sheep, of which ¢ve are wool and six
are hair types (Table III). One study (Tleimat and Khoury, 1999) admits only ¢ve sheep
breeds: Yemen, Dhamari, Boni (which is possibly equivalent to the Ainsi), Jahrani
(which is elsewhere equated to the Dhamari) and Sukatri (= Socotra).
The Dhamari, which has also been referred to as the Burri (Farnworth, 1986) and
the Jahrani, are the largest and the most distinctive of Yemen's sheep breeds. It has
been said to be similar to the Afar of the Ethiopia/Eritrea/Djibouti lowlands (B.J.
Hartley, personal communication, 1995). It is, however, a generally much larger
animal and ^ unusually for Yemen sheep and in contrast to the Afar ^ does not appear
to harbour genes for vestigial ears (author's observation). The average withers height is
about 60 cm, with males weighing up to 35 kg and females averaging 27^30 kg. The
ears are semipendulous and about 10 cm long. Throat tassels or toggles are common.
Neither sex has horns. The head is rather small. The fat tail is S-shaped, heavy in the
upper and middle parts, and usually reaches to the hocks, although longer tails do
occur. The short hair coat is mainly white, with a sandy line towards the rump and the
whole tail may be sand coloured (Farnworth, 1986). This breed is well adapted to the
dry conditions of the uplands of Yemen and uses its tail, as indeed do other Yemeni
sheep, as an energy store for times of restricted feed supply.
The Mareb White, Radmani (or Sha'ra) and Tihama have been described as `other
white hair sheep', although the Mareb White has various amounts of black splotches
and blobs, mostly about the head (Hasnain et al., 1994). The ¢rst two types are found in
the highlands and the last in the lowland coastal areas, which are known in Yemen as
the `Tihama'. All of these are smaller than the Dhamar, have less well developed fat
tails and weigh less. They often have vestigial ears. The sheep of Socotra are also a
small white hair type (Hasnain et al., 1994). The Taiz Red or Ganadi is a loosely
recognizable sheep of the central-southern part of Yemen extending from the mid-level
highlands to the coastal lowlands. Its real relationships are unclear but most animals
ascribed to this type are similar in general bodily and tail conformation to Ethiopian
highland sheep (author's observation). Although described as `red', not all animals of
this inde¢nite type are necessarily that colour and there are many other colour and bi-
and multi-colour variants: the sheep in the city of Taiz are often a deep ruby red and
may have been selected for this shade (author's observation). The small size of all these
types has almost certainly developed as an adaptive trait to the limited feed supply and
the long dry season.
Indigenous farm animal genetic resources of the Republic of Yemen
Morphology Performance
ööööööööööööööööööööööööööö öööö öööö
Male Female
Male Female withers withers
Location weight weight height height LY LL BW
Species/breed Origin in country Function Nos. (kg) (kg) (cm) (cm) Colour Horns Other (kg) (days) (kg)
Ainsi (Ansi) Southern Meat, ? 17 Black, Absent Small
Yemen wool brown, fat
(white) tail
Amran Black North and Meat, ? 18 Black Absent Fat
northwest wool tail
of Sana'a
Amran Grey Possibly Northwest Meat, ? 25 Light Absent Fat
from and west wool to dark tail
Karakul of Sana'a grey
Dhamari (Burr i, Dhamar Meat ? 26 25 57 57 White Absent Large
Jahrani) (south of (fawn fat tail,
Sana'a) back and semilop
legs) ears, hair 2.5
Mareb White Mareb (east Meat ? 24 ? ? White Absent Fat tail,
of Sana'a) (black hair
TABLE III (cont.)
Morphology Performance
öööööööööööööööööööööööööööö öööööööö
Male Female
Male Female withers with ers
Location weight weight he ight height LY LL BW
Species/breed Origin in country Function Nos. (kg) (kg) (cm) (cm) Colour Horns Other (kg) (days) (kg)
Radmani (Sha'ra) White Absent Fat tail,
Sana'a White Northeast Meat, ? 18 Wh ite Absent Small
and north wool fat
of Sana'a tail
Socotra Socotra Wool ? Earless
Taiz Red (Ganadi) Taiz Meat ? 20 Red, Absent Small
brown fat tail,
Tihama (Tihami) Coastal Meat ? 22 White Absent Small
areas fat tail,
Yemen White East and Meat, ? 25 White Absent Fat tail
northeastern wool
Yem e n
Mawr (Mawri) Wadi Mawr 5500 00 0 21 20 64 64 White, 2 Small
(Tihama, black face horns
north Yemen) patches
TABLE III (cont.)
Morphology Performance
öööööööööööööööööööööööööööö öööööööö
Male Female
Male Female withers with ers
Location weight weight height height LY LL BW
Species/breed Origin in country Function Nos. (kg) (kg) (cm) (cm) Colour Horns Other (kg) (days) (kg)
Surdud (Surdudi) Northeast of 300 000 27 27 66 66 Red, wh ite 2 Larg est
Hodeida in patches, Yemeni
Wadi Surdud black tails goat
Taiz Black Qa'taba to Dairy 30 0 000 2 4 23 61 61 Bl ack, 2 Horns
foothills of (cheese), curly rise back
Tihama, meat coat and
southern slightly
highlands of up,
north Yemen hair
Taiz Red As Taiz Dai ry, 90 000 24 24 63 6 3 Various, 2 Medium
Black; meat often with size body;
common in black back horns rise
Taiz city line back and
slightly up
Yemen (Yemeni) Highlands 250 000 21 20 60 60 Black 2 Sm all body 100 60
Mountain (Jabali) from Ibb to with long
beyond Sa'dah hair, horns
and Mareb rise back and
and Al-Bayda slightly up
TABLE III (cont.)
Morphology Performance
öööööööööööööööööööööööööööö öööööööö
Male Female
Male Female withers withers
Location weight weight height height LY LL BW
Species/breed Origin in country Function Nos. (kg) (kg) (cm) (cm) Colour Horns Other (kg) (days) (kg)
Yemeni zebu Throughout Draught 1 090 000 180 Usually red; Sh ort 600 180
(milk, brown, grey/
meat) fawn (black)
Socotra Socotra ? Short Dwarf,
Island humpless
Subyani Sudanese
Source: DAD-IS data base (FAO, 1998) with minor additional information from Mason (1996). The Ogaden and Somali goats and the Somali ass on the FAO
list are not included here as de¢nitely not indigenous
LY, lactation yield
LL, lactation length
BW, birth weight
The wool sheep in the highlands have been called Ainsi or Ansi: other names given
to £eeced types are Amran Black, Amran Grey, Sana'a White and Yemen White. All
are sheep of northern Yemen. The Amran Grey may be descended in part from Turkish
Karakul (FAO, 1998) (Table III). Recognized colour variants of Ainsi are brown
(Arabic = `bunyat'), black (`aswad') and white (`abyad'). It is possible that Boni
(Tleimat and Khoury, 1999) is another name for the Brown Ainsi. Ainsi sheep stand
about 56 cm at the withers and weigh 20^24 kg. Males occasionally have horns in
£eeced sheep. Ears are usually vestigial or absent. The £eece in all these types
comprises an open outer coat of guard hairs with a wool undercoat. The face, head
and legs of all types are clean. Annual greasy £eece weights are about 400 g.White and
black £eeces seem to be ¢ner than brown ones (Table IV).
Some sheep are milked in the highlands, but there are no data on yields. The birth
weights of Dhamari type sheep are about 2.6 kg for males and 2.4 kg for females.
Average 1-month weights under station conditions are 8.9 kg and 6.8 kg for males and
females, respectively, with the corresponding growth rates to 30 days being 212 and 145
g/day.Weights at 60 days are about 13.5 kg for males and 10.9 kg for females, with 30-
to 60-day average daily gains of 150 g for males and 136 g for females (Nabuurs et al.,
1987). Under traditional management, the weights of Dhamari males and females at
16 weeks were 12.9 kg, with an average daily gain to this age of 92 g. Ainsi Brown and
Ainsi White sheep achieved similar weights and growth performance (Hendy, 1981).
The sheep lamb all year round, but most births are in the spring with a smaller peak
in autumn. Average lambing intervals in the traditional systems are about 14 months,
but an annual cycle is the norm (i.e. the average is weighted by some very long,
probably 2-year, intervals). Under station conditions, it is possible to achieve three
lambings every 2 years (Wagenaar and Al-Mas'udi, 1988). The litter size for all Yemeni
sheep is about 1.05 lambs per parturition, but the twinning rate can be increased under
better management on research stations to about 20^25%, with a few triplet births also
occurring (Wagenaar and Al-Mas'udi, 1988).
Fleece characteristics of Ainsi sheep in the Republic of Yemen
Sheep type
Parameter Ainsi White Ainsi Brown
Fibre length (cm) 10.0 8.6
Fibre diameter (mm) 27.0 32.6
Fibres 528 mm (%) 81.0 68.3
Fibres 428 mm(%) 0.5 4.3
Medullated ¢bres (%) 10.5 26.5
Source: Hasnain et al.(1994)
All the goats in Yemen could be classed as small (Devendra and Burns, 1983) and
short-eared (Mason and Maule, 1960). The FAO global database (FAO, 1998) provides
minimal information on ¢ve breeds (Table III). A standard text on the world's breeds
(Mason, 1996) includes two further breeds of goats: the Attaq of southern Yemen, said
to be similar to Taiz Black but with a less curly coat, and the Thamud, also of southern
Yemen, said to be the same as the Mawr of northern Yemen and probably its origin.
In addition to being `small' and `short-eared', the goats of Yemen are either `hairy' or
`smooth' (Hasnain, 1985; Hasnain et al., 1992). The usually black, hairy goat of the
highlands is referred to as the Yemen or Yemeni Mountain or alternatively as the
`Jabali' (Arabic = mountain). This is one of the smaller or the Yemeni goat types but is
similar to many other `mountain' goats of the Middle East that are found, for example,
in Jordan and Syria (author's observations). Shoulder heights are about 58^60 cm and
male and female weights are about 22^25 and 18^22 kg, respectively. The ears are semi-
erect and 8^10 cm long. The horns in males rise backwards, upwards and outwards for
lengths of up to 25 cm: female horns are shorter and ¢ner and tend to curve downwards
at the tip (Hasnain, 1985; Hasnain et al., 1992).
All other recognized goat types have shorter, ¢ner hair, with a tendency to curl or
wave patterns in most. The Taiz Black and Taiz Red are common in the central
southern, medium-altitude highlands and di¡er little other than in the base colour: the
red variety (not always red!) has a dark muzzle, back line and tail and black knees and
hocks. The coat is particularly wavy in the Taiz Black (author's observation). The
Mawr or Mawri and the Surdud or Surdudi are the most distinctive goats and are both
from the central or northern lowlands of the Tihama region. The former is mainly
white, with black marks and patches about the head and forequarters, whereas the
latter is strongly bi-coloured red and white. The Surdud is the largest goat in the Yemen
by a considerable margin, standing 66^68 cm at the withers in females and up to 70 cm
in males and weighing as much as 30 kg. The other three short-haired types are
intermediate in size between the Surdud and the Yemeni Mountain. All types have
short ears and rather short horns and there are varying proportions of tassels in the
separate populations (Hasnain, 1985; Hasnain et al., 1992; FAO, 1998).
The main production function of goats is meat but they are occasionally milked in
the lowlands. In the Taiz area, a smoked cheese made from goat's milk is a speciality of
the region (Hasnaid and Saeed, 1987). Hair is harvested from the long-haired black
goats in the highlands and mixed with sheep's wool for local manufacture.
There is little information on the production characteristics of goats. However,
based on the £ock structure (adult:young ratio) and the number of young per breeding
female, as observed by the author and from discussions with owners, the reproductive
performance of goats is probably similar to that described for sheep.
Two Yemeni breeds of cattle have been identi¢ed (Mason, 1996). One is con¢ned to
Socotra Island and is a Bos taurus animal. No other information appears to be
available on this type other than that it has short horns and is a dwarf with no hump
(FAO, 1998).
The Yemen Shorthorn Zebu occurs all over mainland Yemen (Hasnain et al., 1994).
In general morphology, it is similar in many respects to the East African Shorthorn
Zebu (author's observation). It is probable that it arrived in the area with the Semitic
invaders in the ¢rst millen nium BC (Mason, 1976). There is no morphological evidence
of Sanga blood (author's observation) in spite of much backward and forward
movement of trade stocks, especially with Africa over hundreds of years.
The zebu is of medium to small size, with mature males weighing about 340 kg and
standing 125 cm at the withers. Females weigh up to 240 kg and stand 110 cm. Horns
are never longer than 25 cm and are often merely scurs that are less than 10 cm in
length (Hasnain, 1985; Hasnain et al., 1992). The thoracic hump is sometimes very
large, but the dewlap is small and there is no umbilical or sheath fold. There is little
morphological variation throughout the population other than in size and colour
(author's observation).
The colours are white, sandy, red, dark brown or black, with some colours
predominating in some areas. A bright red colour is probably the most common
overall. Male and some female animals have darker points. Face blazes are not
uncommon and other white patches are sometimes present on a minority of animals.
Colours are generally darker at higher altitudes (author's observation).
Cattle are used for milk, most of which is converted to ghee (Arabic = `semn' (fat)),
and for meat and draught. Early slaughter for veal is a common practice in the
highlands. Milk yields are probably about 600 litres per lactation, of which about 25%
may be taken by the calf. Yemeni cattle appear unusual for zebus in that they will let
down their milk in the absence of the calf (Hasnain, 1985). The skimmed milk from the
ghee is commonly drunk sour by the household but some ghee is usually sold. Growth
rates on smallholder farms under traditional management are low, with calves weighing
about 45 kg at 6 months and 75 kg at 12 months of age. During the 1970s, some
indications of the genetic potential became available from state farms, where 6-month
weights averaged 130 kg and 12-month weights about 250 kg (Hasnain, 1985). Draught
performance is poor as a result of the light weight, poor nutrition and poor health: a pair
of cattle working a 6-hour day ploughs an average of 0.25 ha (Hendy, 1981).
Four breeds of the one-humped camel have been recognized in Yemen (Table V).
Although described in relative terms as large, medium or small (Hasnain, 1985),
Yemeni camels are generally small in absolute terms. In this respect they resemble the
camels of the Afar, across the Red Sea in lowland Djibouti, Eritrea and Ethiopia
(author's observation). Shoulder heights of males are about 175^185 cm, whereas those
of females are 165^175 cm. Large black males are likely to weigh about 500 kg, with
exceptional animals being as heavy as 550 kg; black females weigh up to 450 kg.
Smaller white males weigh 480 kg and females about 400^420 kg. All camels are triple-
purpose to some degree, but the larger black camels are preferred for draught purposes
as they are said to be of quieter temperament than the other types (Hasnain, 1985).
Donkeys and horses
Two types of donkey are clearly distinguishable: the smaller one is given the name of
Qaramani and the larger that of Subyani (FAO, 1998; Mason, 1996). The small type is
said to be 95 cm at the withers and the larger one 110 cm (Hendy, 1981). The smaller
type has been mainly used in the past as a pack animal and the larger white type for
draught and in carts. Their functions are changing, however, as the small donkeys are
becoming more general-purpose animals used for a wide range of activities, including
ploughing and threshing (author's observation). The transport functions of the larger
donkey are being, indeed largely have been, superseded by mechanical transport, so
that these have also become general-purpose animals including being used for riding.
The larger Subyani donkey is almost invariably white in colour and shows clear
a¤nities to the `Syrian' donkey of Sudan (Wilson, 19 78) and Egypt, although it tends to
be smaller (author's observation). The smaller Qaramani donkey is a distinctly Middle
Eastern type and is indeed small: many animals used for general work are only about
90 cm at the withers and probably weigh little more than 85 kg (author's observation).
In a survey by the author of more than 350 donkeys along a road transect from central
to south Yemen (Sana'a to Aden), only 12% of all donkeys seen were of the large white
type. Of the 88% of donkeys that were small, some 70% (61% of all donkeys) were
black or dark brown, 29% (26% of all donkeys) were varying shades of grey or grey-
white, and considerably fewer than 1% were of the `African grey' type, with a black line
along the back and a shoulder cross.
Camel breeds of the Republic of Yemen
Physical characteristics
öööööööööööö Milk yield
Breed Colour Size Function (kg/day)
Aada/Aarad Black Large Dairy 10
Areka White Small Draught ?
Hurrah/Omani Reddish Medium Dairy 5^8
Khuwara White Small ? ?
Source: Hasnain (1985)
The Giawf horse is very uncommon and is said to serve `no practical function'
(Hendy, 1981).
Indigenous poultry, which appear to be limited in species to domestic fowl and pigeons,
have clearly been neglected in all aspects of development. This has been particularly the
case in the years since the 1970s, when industrial layer and broiler industries started to
develop. There are therefore no descriptions of native birds, although there is clearly
much biodiversity (and therefore geneticvariation?) in local populations, with both bare
neck and frizzle feather genes present (author's observation). Morphological variation ^
local fowl often weigh less than 750 g, mature weight ^ is probably re£ected in variations
in both adaptive and production traits. Thus, the 50 or so eggs of less than 30 g mass
reputed to be produced per hen per year could almost certainly be improved by selective
breeding, following initial improvements in management, nutrition and health.
Many deliberate attempts have been made to modify the genetic base of Yemeni
livestock. This started as long as 3000 years ago when the Semitic invaders already
referred to arrived from the north. Rather more recently, it is believed ^ and it is almost
certainly the case ^ that Karakul sheep were imported during the early phases of
Turkish hegemony. More recently still, there have been more formal imports and
attempts to modify the genetic make-up of the indigenous Yemeni livestock.
One of the earliest documented reports of this recent modi¢cation was the import
(from India/Pakistan?) of 10 Sahiwal6Ayrshire heifers and one Sahiwal bull to the
South Arabian Federation (i.e. southern Yemen) by the British administration in 1965
as `the beginning of a scheme to demonstrate improved livestock management' (DAI,
1966). The British, this time as part of a technical assistance programme, made a
further import of seven Jersey heifers and one bull from the United Kingdom in
January 1982. Shortly after this, in July 1982, three Anglo-Nubian bucks and 15 does
were imported by the same project (Murtland, 1987). The cattle and goats were said to
adapt well to local conditions, but there appears to have been little subsequent activity
and there do not appear to be any subsequent reports on their performance or indeed
their fate.
Other imports in the last quarter of the twentieth century included Friesian and
Sahiwal cattle, mainly for breeding on State Farms in both the former southern and
northern Yemen. Beetal goats from Pakistan and Shami or Damascus goats from Syria
were also imported in small numbers during the 1970s and 1980s (Ferguson, 1987).
Males of these breeds were distributed to traditional small-scale holders but they have
seemingly had little impact on the indigenous resources. This is perhaps not surprising
when it is realized that the conservatism of traditional owners looks very suspiciously
even at crosses between the national breeds of the highlands and those of the lowlands.
A scheme parallel to that described for cattle was attempted for poultry by the
British administration in Aden in 1965, when `500 day-old chicks [are] expected
shortly' in order to `develop local egg production by the demonstration of improved
methods and the sale of point-of-lay' pullets (DAI, 1966). In view of the lack of security
in the Protectorate at that time, neither this nor the cattle imports already referred to
are likely to have had any impact on the genetic make-up of the indigenous stock or on
their output and, indeed, there do not seem to be any later references to them. The large
populations of hybrid fowl imported since the 1970s and kept in modern systems for
egg and meat production are reproductively isolated from local birds.
It is almost certain that considerable informal crossing has taken place as a result of
Yemen's historical position at the intersection of major trade routes. Large numbers of
cattle, sheep and goat imports from Ethiopia and Somalia continue to the present time.
There is clearly some limited, although almost certainly short-term, infusion of the
blood of some of these animals into Yemeni native stock (author's observation). In the
opposite direction, evidence of Yemeni genetics is to be found on the mainland of
Africa. It is more than likely, for example, that `Aden' cattle in Eritrea are descended
from the Yemeni zebu.
The possibilities of improving the performance of native Yemeni livestock through
within-breed selection have hardly been explored.What little has been done has been of
a short-term nature, with few animals (Ferguson, 1987; Ferguson and Abdu Azazi,
1987; Ferguson et al., 1987). Some results, for example those with the Dhamari sheep
(Nabuurs et al., 1988; Wagenaar and Al-Mas'udi, 1988), have been encouraging and
this development path is probably of equal merit to the more usual and fashionable one
of crossbreeding.
Yemen has a broad range of domestic livestock. Because of the range of species that is
maintained and the number of identi¢ed types, it is likely to be an important repository
of genetic diversity of farm animals. Some attempts have been made to assign this
diversity to distinct breeds, but the existing terminology and the method of classi¢ca-
tion itself are often confusing. Most smallholder mixed or transhumant or nomadic
`bedu' owners do not, in fact, recognize breeds and merely refer to their stock as
`native'. In many cases it is certainly not easy to distinguish clear divisions of categories
or varieties in herding units that contain several types of animal, especially in the case
of sheep and goats. Interbreeding of several varieties undoubtedly takes place in the
traditional production systems.
There are further complications in the classi¢cation of Yemeni livestock, in so far as
their historical and current relationships with animals in neighbouring countries are
usually far from clear. On morphological grounds alone, there seem to be associations
between the Taiz Red or Ganadi sheep of Yemen and some of the Highland types of
Eritrea and Ethiopia but not between the Dharmari and the lowland Afar type of
Djibouti, Eritrea and Ethiopia, whose home range is closer geographically. There is
circumstantial historical evidence for the Amran Grey sheep being descended, at least
in part, from the Karakul, which may have been brought to Yemen during the Turkish
colonial period. On morphological grounds alone, theYemeni Mountain or Jabali goat
could be part of a larger group of Near East mountain goats that encompasses types
from Jordan and Syria and possibly other countries.
The Yemeni Shorthorn zebu cattle may have arrived in the area with Semitic
invaders as long as 3000 years ago. The similarity of the East African Shorthorn zebu
cattle to the Yemeni type is not surprising, as the Semitic cattle almost certainly
continued their southward expansion across the Bab Al Mandeb narrows at the
southern end of the Red Sea (Payne and Wilson, 1999). Yemeni cattle have also had
some in£uence in Eritrea, where an `Aden' type is present. The Subyani donkey is
similar in type to the larger white donkeys of Sudan and Egypt, although there are very
few comparable animals in the geographically nearer countries of Djibouti, Eritrea,
Ethiopia and Somalia in the Horn of Africa. The smaller Qaramari donkey is similar
to other Middle Eastern smaller types, but there is little real variation in type in any of
the West Asian donkey populations. The small size of Yemeni camels may indicate
relationships with the types in the Horn of Africa.
The origins and relationships of other Yemeni livestock breeds are even more
obscure. It may be argued that classi¢cation into `breeds' is, in most cases, premature.
Claims (Scherf, 2000) that breeds are not at risk are premature as there are inadequate
data on the distribution and numbers of pure breeding populations. There is no doubt,
however, that there is considerable diversity in Yemeni livestock. This diversity and the
integration of many of its facets with crop production in order to ensure sustainable
production are, and will continue to be, essential features of the agricultural sector and
of the natural environment in Yemen.
The limited attempts of the Yemeni authorities through the Agricultural Research
and Extension Authority to maintain `breeds' (notably the Dhamar sheep at Dhamar
Research Station and the Surdud goat at Lahj Station near Aden) are therefore
laudable but may not be well directed or make the best use of limited human and
¢nancial resources. Considerable further research and development e¡orts are required
to ensure a fuller and more accurate characterization of farm animal biodiversity. This
would probably require international assistance and should be in the form of
characterization of disease resistance or special adaptive traits followed by the use of
modern biotechnology for DNA typing. Only then would it be appropriate to consider
in situ and ex situ conservation of priority breeds that have limited numbers or special
biological and productive adaptations.
In the meantime, enhanced integration of crop and livestock production would
improve the livelihoods of the people of Yemen. The adaptive traits of Yemen's
livestock that enable them to withstand the harsh climate, poor nutrition and a broad
disease challenge are not clearly identi¢ed but should be the subject of research as
indicated in the preceding paragraph. These traits contribute to the ability of Yemeni
livestock to subscribe directly and indirectly to human welfare through production of
meat, milk, eggs, hides and skins and ¢bres, and provision of draught power and
manure for crop production. These outputs are fundamental to assured and sustainable
food production, alleviation of poverty, gender equality and environmental conserva-
tion in the Republic of Yemen.
The author thanks the livestock owners he met in Yemen for their amused (bemused?)
tolerance of his questions, as well as government and provincial sta¡ for their interest.
I am grateful to the anonymous referee who spent no little time in ensuring the paper
was acceptable for publication and to the journal's editor for his assistance in
improving the draft of the paper.
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of Agriculture and Irrigation, The Federation and Protectorate of South Arabia, Aden)
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Bureau: Farnham Royal, UK)
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(Compact Disc, ISBN: 92-5-004161-8; Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome)
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(ISSN 0251-0375
Ferguson, J.A., Maase, L.M., Jeliiss, A. and Abdu Azazi, S.S., 1987. Supplementation of the House Cow in
the Yemen Arab Republic. II. The E¡ect of Supplement (Meat and Bone Meal) upon Milk Yield at Various
Stages of Lactation, (Publication no. 130, Overseas Development Administration: Surbiton, UK) (ISSN
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Agriculture and Fisheries, S ana's, Yemen)
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Production and Health Paper no. 55, Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome), 123^125
Hasnain, H.U., Al-Nokhail, A.A. and Al-Iryani, A.R., 1992. Goats in Yemen. Animal Genetic Resources
Information,8, 38^45
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Resources Information,13,65^71
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Resources Survey, Livestock Production, (Land Resources Development Centre, Overseas Development
Agency: Surbiton, UK)
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Documentation, Ministry of Agr iculture and Irrigation, Sana'a, Yem en)
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Production in Developing Countries, (Centre for Tropical Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh,
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Communication No. 14, Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux, Farnham Royal, UK)
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Rams, (Communication no. 18, Range and Livestock Improvement Project, Agricultural Research
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(Accepted: 16 July 2001)
¨du be
¨tail domestique dans la Re
¨publique du Yemen
¨^ Cet article de
¨crit le be
¨tail domestique en Re
¨publique du Yemen et e ssaie de c omple
¨ter des travaux
¨demment publie
¨s sur les ``races''. Il de
¨crit aussi toutes les espe
©ces et donne les parame
©tres de
production au travers d'une e
¨tude de la litte
¨rature ou d'observations de terrain e
¨tablies par l'auteur en
1999. Les informations s ont don ne
¨es sur le nombre d'animaux et l'importance e
¨conomique de la
production animale. La plupart des animaux sont garde
¨s dans des syste
©mes de production mixtes be
cultures, les syste
©mes de transhumance e
¨tant le deuxie
©me groupe le plus important alors que le syste
nomadique est moins important et en diminution. Le be
¨tail du Yemen comprend au moins 11 races de
moutons, 5 races de che
©vres, 2 race de bovins, 4 races de chameaux, 2 races d'a
ªnes et une race de cheval. Il
n'y a pas d'information sur la volaille mais des poulets domestiques (groupe tre
©s diverse) et des pigeons
sont aussi e
¨s. Il y a tre
©s peu d'information sur l'histoire et les relations entre les races. Certaines races
semblent e
ªtre d'origine locale et tre
©s ancienne alors que d'autres semblent venir de pays voisins. Aucune des
races n'e
¨tant en danger un programme de conservation serait donc pre
¨mature. Une e
¨tude plus pousse
¨e sur
les caracte
¨ristiques ge
¨tiques en sus d e la classi¢cation traditionnelle et morphologiqu e pourrait
cependant re
¨ler la ne
¨d'un programme de conservation.
Biodiversidad de ganado dome
¨stico en la Repu
¨blica del Yemen
Resumen ^ Este articulo describe el ganado dome
¨stico de la Repu¨ blica del Yemen y pretende complementar
otras fuentes que listan razas o las describen parcialmente. Se intentan cubrir todas las especies y aportar
indicaciones de los para
¨metros de produccio
¨n a trave
¨s de revisio
¨n bibliogra
¨¢ca y observaciones de campo
realizadas por el autor en el an
¬o 1999. Se aporta informacio
¨n sobre el nu¨ mero de cabezas y la importancia
¨mica de la produccio
¨n animal. La mayor|
¨a de los animales se mantienen en sistemas de produccio
sedentarios agr|
¨cola-ganaderos. Los sistemas trashumantes son los segundos en nu¨ mero, siendo los
sistemas no
¨madas los menos utilizados. El ganado de Yemen comprende por lo menos 11 razas de ovejas,
5 de cabras, 2 de vacuno, 4 de camellos, 2 de burros y una de caballos. No hay datos sobre razas de pollos
pero se cr|
¨an gallinas dome
¨sticas (de las que existe una considerable diversidad) y palomas. Existe poca
¨n seria de la historia y relaciones de la mayor|
¨a de las razas. Algunas parecen ser antiguas razas
de origen local y otras presentan similitudes con las de las regiones o pa|
¨ses vecinos. Ninguna esta
considerada en peligro de extincio
¨n por lo que los programas de conservacio
¨an prematuros. Sin
embargo, una caracterizacio
¨tica detallada y ma
¬adida a la tradicional clasi¢cacio
¨gica, podr|
¨a revelar que esto u¨ ltimo fuese necesario.
... The local cattle breed, kept mainly as dairy animal, is a dwarf humpless (Bos taurus) shorthorn variety, believed to be imported by Portuguese in XVI century, weighting about 150 kg as adult animal. The Soqotri sheep are thin tailed, small white hair type, and bred for their wool (Wilson 2003). Their weight is about 17 kg while that of goats, the most diffused livestock and the major source of meat, is 20 kg. ...
... Their milk is commonly drunk in rural areas. Dromedaries, probably original from the Horn of Africa, are together with donkeys a common means of transport of people and goods (Wilson 2003). A few poultry are also bred. ...
... The local cattle breed, kept mainly as dairy animal, is a dwarf humpless (Bos taurus) shorthorn variety, believed to be imported by Portuguese in XVI century, weighting about 150 kg as adult animal. The Soqotri sheep are thin tailed, small white hair type, and bred for their wool (Wilson 2003). Their weight is about 17 kg while that of goats, the most diffused livestock and the major source of meat, is 20 kg. ...
... Their milk is commonly drunk in rural areas. Dromedaries, probably original from the Horn of Africa, are together with donkeys a common means of transport of people and goods (Wilson 2003). A few poultry are also bred. ...
Full-text available
Soqotra, spanning 3650 km2, is the largest of four islands forming the homonym archipelago. It is part of the Yemen Republic and is located in the northwestern side of the Indian Ocean, between 12°06’ - 12°42’ N and 52°03’ - 54°32’ E, about 700 km away from the Yemeni coasts, 380 km from Ras Fartak (southeastern end of the Arabian Peninsula) and only 80 km from the Horn of Africa. The Archipelago is characterised by a great biological diversity: a high level of endemism places it among the most important islands in the world. The particularly high number of endemic species derives from the long isolation begun in the late Secondary or early Tertiary (65 Mln yrs ago) even though strong biogeographical links are evident with the Horn of Africa, the Arabian peninsula, southern Africa and Madagascar. The local population’s wise exploitation of services provided by Soqotra ecosystems sustained its livelihood in a subtle equilibrium with their functional processes. And that mainly basing, for centuries in the past and up to recent, on pastoralism and fishery. This situation was favoured by the isolation of the Archipelago that lasted until the beginning of the 1990s, when many development efforts and projects, such as the building of an airport, a sea port, and an internal network of roadways, took place. This rapid development, together with the population increase in the last twenty years, the effects of climate change and the introduction of alien species, represents a new threat to biological diversity, increasing the pressure on ecosystem dynamics and species, many of which are now considered at risk of extinction. In order to deal with the above issues as well as to promote the sustainable socio-economic development of the Island, the Italian development Cooperation has supported, since 1997, several programmes and initiatives. The last one started in 2010 with the aim of improving the capacity of local institutions in planning and managing development and conservation activities according to an objective and systemic approach. The idea of this book emerged during one of the last workshops held by the scientific team in 2011, as a way to commemorate the sad and unexpected death of Prof. Paolo Bono, one of the most distinguished Italian hydrogeologists, who had been part of our team since 2009. However, soon after, the political instability of Yemen determined the halt of the Project so this book is also meant to maintain alive the strong link we all developed with the Island and with our Yemeni and Soqotri colleagues. At the beginning it was conceived as a collection of contributions from the different sectors of intervention. However, in its final version, albeit the structure was maintained, we decided to broaden its scope and to use the “Soqotra experience” as a way to present the approach promoted by the Italian development Cooperation that has been implemented in different ecological and socio-economic contexts around the world.The book’s first chapter is dedicated to presenting and discussing the theoretical background and the practical implications for the development of a decision support system (DSS) for non-technical institutional decision makers. The other chapters show the current state of the art of the activities conducted in the various sectors including water management, plant and animal ecology, marine biology and fishery, socio-economic development and health, with a common perspective of cross-sectorial integration and contribution to a centralised data management system that is the core of the DSS. We also included a final chapter that describes a very innovative approach for including in the decision making process also “environmental health” indicators more strongly related to the ecosystem structure and functioning and strictly derived from thermodynamic concepts. I would like to thank Prof. Biagini for the opportunity to publish the book in the “CEMAS” series and I hope it will stimulate reflections and contribute to a debate on the meaning of the technical-scientific international cooperation. Special thanks to the staff of the Environmental Protection Authority for its friendship and commitment, and to the Minister Abdulrahman Al-Eryani for the continuous support, and wise and useful suggestions.
... Because of the significant risk of zoonotic disease transmission within the Middle East and spread outside its borders, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations is focused on livestock health and disease control within Arabic-speaking countries such as Egypt, Iraq, Oman, Tunisia, and Yemen. [9][10][11][12][13][14][15] Opportunities exist to improve and promote hands-on educational experiences of Arabic-speaking veterinarians and interactions with professionals of Arabic-speaking countries regarding food security and public health and to foster growth in current scientific journals and collaborative efforts in the Arabic-speaking region. 8,9,[16][17][18] Instrumental to collaboration among veterinary professionals within the Arabic-speaking countries are the sharing and promotion of research and evidence-based practices, particularly through peer-reviewed scientific journals. ...
Full-text available
Background The prevalence of diseases of foodborne and zoonotic origin in Arabic-speaking countries highlights the importance of collaboration between human and animal health professionals. However, accessibility of research and evidence-based practices in these countries is not well characterized. This brief report determines the availability of professional veterinary journals within the Arabic-speaking region. Methods An electronic search using 6 databases assessed for publication period, activity status, and available languages incorporated all aspects of veterinary medicine and specialties. Results Among 29 veterinary journals identified, the oldest current publication originated 63 years ago, with 10 journals currently interrupted or ceased. All 19 currently active journals are available electronically as open access, with 8 also offered in paper format. Veterinary journals published within Arabic-speaking countries are predominantly produced in Egypt, Iraq, and Sudan. Conclusion Electronic access is lacking compared with English-speaking countries, and there is a lack of journals with an Arabic-language option. The reasons associated with language options in veterinary publications are not immediately apparent, yet may highlight differences among public health, health education, and zoonotic professionals and the populations they serve. Veterinary journals in Arabic-speaking countries do not adequately represent the overall region and are limited in access. Further evaluation of regional culture and publisher preferences is indicated to identify new collaboration opportunities among health professionals and local stakeholders.
... More than 75% of farmers in the highlands keep a small number of cowsoften only one that is intensively hand-fedto provide milk and 'semn' (Ahmed 2000). Almost all sheep are fat-tailed types and are found mostly in the highlands, whereas goats are kept in the lowlands (Wilson 2003). ...
The 22 countries of the Arab League occupy a combined area of 13.13 million square kilometres extending from the Atlantic coast of Africa in the west to Mesopotamia in the east. The total human population is of the order of 356.8 million people. Livestock (camel, sheep, goat and cow) have been kept by the Arabs for thousands of years and continue to be important in household and national economies. This article identifies and describes traditional milk processing activities and their derived products in a selection of countries of the area.
... Sheep population of the Yemen is estimated to be 9.08 million head in 2009(Yemen Agricultural Statistics, 2009).Eleven traditional sheep breed is recognized in Yemen of which 5 are wool and 6 are hair types (Wilson, 2003). All sheep breeds in the country were indigenous with fat tail whose conformation varied considerably (Hasnain et al., 1994). ...
Full-text available
The Burke and Wills Expedition is one of the icons of Australian history, but surprisingly it has attracted little academic attention, with most of the vast body of literature about the Expedition being written by amateur historians for popular audiences. Few writers have thoroughly investigated and analysed the primary sources available. In addition, many of these sources are more difficult to interpret than the records of other Australian exploring expeditions because a number of important records went missing soon after the Expedition. The Expedition leader, Burke, did not keep a journal, almost uniquely for such an expedition, and this means that there is not even a clear understanding of the actual route taken. While some authors have travelled through the country traversed by Burke and Wills, none have tried to find and follow the exact route. The lack of solid information means that some aspects of the Expedition have become shrouded in myth. This thesis aims to investigate the Expedition from its inception to its end, placing it in the context of Australian colonial exploration. It corrects many of the myths and misconceptions that have crept into the Burke and Wills story, provides a reasonably accurate route and detailed chronology for the Expedition, explains some of the puzzles about the actions of the participants, and re-evaluates the Expedition’s importance for Australian history. This was done by finding and analysing all the records left by and about the Expedition, using navigation and surveying techniques to evaluate Wills’ performance as expedition navigator, and walking the route of the Expedition, initially in short stages, and then in 2008 following the entire route at the same time of the year as the Expedition took place. By analysing the Expedition records, including art by Expedition scientists, and the landscape and its relation to the Expedition – a methodology called ‘historical human ecology’ – the author was able to trace the actual route more closely than anyone to date, and thereby found why Burke and Wills did not reach the open sea at the Gulf, and why on their return they failed to reach their goal of Mount Hopeless, resulting soon after in their deaths. The study looks at the first use of camels in inland exploration, their procurement and utilisation and how camels allowed Burke to attempt a rapid journey form Cooper Creek to the Gulf. The study also explains the Expedition’s relations with Aboriginal people, and shows that contrary to myth, the Expedition did use Aboriginal guides and even preferred Aboriginal placenames. Burke’s decision not to rely on Aboriginal guides in northern Australia was a consequence of his use of camels, which freed him from the need to use guides to find water, rather than to racism. It further explains the circumstances of the Expedition leaders’ deaths and shows that they were not ‘poisoned’ by nardoo, and that their relations with the Yandruwandha people of Cooper Creek can be explained by normal cultural beliefs and standards on both sides rather than inexplicable hostility by Burke as myth has it. The study also briefly considers how Eurocentric ideas of the arid interior of Australia changed as a result of the Expedition.
The present Republic of Yemen (RDY) was formed in 1991 with the union of two Yemens namely, Yemen Arab Republic (YAR) or North Yemen and the Peoples Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY) or South Yemen. Studies on livestock breeds were undertaken in the former YAR during 1985–87 under the FAO Project UTFN/YEM/011. It was supplemented with a rapid survey for the former PDRY in 1991 by the senior author (HUH) under the FAO Project UTF/ PDY/013. The information on goats in Yemen has recently been published in FAO Animal Genetic Resources Information No: 8 (1992). Here is presented the information of the Yemeni sheep and cattle population.