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Phenotypic classification of Saudi Arabian camel (Camelus dromedarius) by their body measurements

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In order to identify homogeneous groups of camels according to their conformation, 212 camels (155 females and 57 males) from 9 regions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and belonging to 12 different camel breed or types were measured. The body measurements included the length of the head, of the neck, of the udder and of the teat, the height at the withers, and the circumference of the neck, of the thigh and at girth. The 12 breeds were compared according to their mean body measurements and the groups with similar conformation were identified by Automatic Hierarchical Classification on Ward distance. Finally, 4 types of female camel conformation were identified: small size breed from mountains and Red Sea coast, big size camel from desert areas, and 2 breeds, Zargeh with small size but with wide chest and neck, and Asail (racing camel) with very thin neck and leg and poorly developed udder. Six groups of males are identified also but with a different distribution. This classification is close to the typology based on the ecosystem distribution of camel breeds in Saudi Arabia.
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Emir. J. Food Agric. 2012. 24 (3): 272-280
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ANIMAL SCIENCE
Phenotypic classification of Saudi Arabian camel (Camelus dromedarius)
by their body measurements
H. R. Abdallah1and Bernard Faye1,2*
1Camel and range Research Center, P.O. Box 322, Al-Jouf, Sakaka, Saudi Arabia
2FAO/CIRAD-ES, Campus international de Baillarguet, TA C/dir B 34398 Montpellier, France
Abstract
In order to identify homogeneous groups of camels according to their conformation, 212 camels (155 females
and 57 males) from 9 regions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and belonging to 12 different camel breed or
types were measured. The body measurements included the length of the head, of the neck, of the udder and of
the teat, the height at the withers, and the circumference of the neck, of the thigh and at girth. The 12 breeds
were compared according to their mean body measurements and the groups with similar conformation were
identified by Automatic Hierarchical Classification on Ward distance. Finally, 4 types of female camel
conformation were identified: small size breed from mountains and Red Sea coast, big size camel from desert
areas, and 2 breeds, Zargeh with small size but with wide chest and neck, and Asail (racing camel) with very
thin neck and leg and poorly developed udder. Six groups of males are identified also but with a different
distribution. This classification is close to the typology based on the ecosystem distribution of camel breeds in
Saudi Arabia.
Key words: Body measurements, Camel breed, Classification, Dromedary camel.
Introduction
The total population of dromedary is estimated
to be around 1.6 million camels within the Arabian
Peninsula, about 53% found in Saudi Arabia
(source: FAO statistics, 2011). However, there is
an important gap between the official number of
camel heads according to FAO statistics (280,000
in 2009) and the national estimation published by
the Ministry of Agriculture in Saudi Arabia
(830,000 heads). Based on this last estimation, the
camel population is 51% of the total tropical
livestock unit (TLU) in the country. The camel
population is increasing since the year 1961,
passing from 80,000 to 280,000 in 2009; i.e.
approximately a growth of 5.2%/year. The
importance of camel in Saudi Arabia is clearly
underlined by these data (Gaili et al., 2000).
However, during the same time the milk and
meat productivity increased but in similar
proportion: 5.4%/year for milk production and
6.4%/year for meat production (Faye and Bonnet,
2012). This increase of milk and meat productivity
in camel was mainly linked to the population
growth. Regarding the higher growth in meat
production, it was rather due to the increase of
slaughtering rate than to the growth of meat
productivity. Indeed, the mean carcass weight was
the same in 2009 compared to 1961 (224 kg) and
the slaughtering rate increased by 6.62%/year. The
dairy productivity did not change also for the last
48 years and the increase of dairy production was
linked to the increase of proportion in dairy animals
passing from 62 to 69%; i.e. a growth by 5.53% per
year (Faye and Bonnet, 2012). Thus, the increase in
available production was mainly mechanical and
due to the population growth.
Elsewhere, the Arabian Peninsula is probably
one of the main area where the dromedary camel
was domesticated 5000 to 6000 years ago
(Uerpman and Uerpman, 2002), and the place
where the camel biodiversity is one of the most
important in the world. Formerly, a dozen of
“breeds” are described (Faye et al., 2011) mainly
based on their coat color.
However, their differences on other parameters
as their general conformation were not clearly
described. There is no clear classification of Saudi
Arabia camel populations with ecological,
morphological and utilities criteria generally mixed
(Almathen et al., 2012). Yet, it would be an
Received 03 December 2011; Revised 24 February 2012
;
Accepted 27 February 2012
*Corresponding Author
Bernard Faye
FAO/CIRAD-ES, Campus international de Baillarguet, TA
C/dir B 34398 Montpellier, France
Email: bernard.faye@cirad.fr
H. R. Abdallah and Bernard Faye
273
important step to propose control of performances
for further potential selection programs in order to
contribute for the improvement of camel
productivity. Thus, the present study aims to
classify the described camel breed of Saudi Arabia
on the base of their body measurements only in
order to identify some groups with similar
conformation.
Materials and Methods
The survey
As the whole, 152 camel owners were visited.
They lived in 9 regions of the kingdom (Al-jouf,
Ar.ar, Tabuk, Tabarjal, Riyadh, Qassim, Hail,
Jazan, Al-Bahah). They were selected on the basis
of the variability in the breed composition of their
camel farms. In each farm, a questionnaire was
applied and body measurements were achieved: all
female and male camels had between 5 and 10
years old (adults having finished their growth), and
they were regarded by their owner as the more
characteristic specimens for a given breed. By this
participative approach, the total size of the sample
could be limited. Finally, the data involving 212
camels (155 female and 57 males) belonging to 12
different camel breeds (or types) were collected. As
the description of these different camels are not yet
clear, the terms “breed” or “types” will be used
indistinctly.
The measurements
The measurements were achieved on standing
animals with a meter-ribbon and reported in cm.
The following distances were collected: (i) the
length of the head from nose to occipital (LH), (ii)
the length of the neck (lower part) from base of
head to the chest (LN), (iii) the circumference of
the neck at the middle of the neck (CN), (iv) the
height at the withers (HW), (v) the girth
circumference in front of the hump (GC) and the
thigh circumference at the middle of the thigh (TC),
then in females (vi) the length of the left front teat
(LT) and finally (vii) the length of the udder from
the front to hind attach (LU).
The statistical analysis
The statistical analysis included three steps:
(i) Each breed was described by the mean
S.D) of the different reported measurements and
their within variability. To compare the different
breeds, a variance analysis was applied in order to
identify the significant differences for each
measurement between breeds.
(ii) The correlations between the different
measurements were assessed by calculating the
correlation coefficient of Pearson for a given sex.
(iii) In a third step, a table including the 12
identified breeds (in row) and the different mean
values of body measurements (in column –see table
1) was analyzed by automatic clustering. The
principle of the method of automatic classification
(or clustering) was based on the identification of
homogeneous groups of individuals (clusters) in the
population (here, camel breed). Two camel breeds
belonging to the same group were somehow close to
each other (similar means of body measurements).
At reverse, two camel breeds belonging to different
groups are somehow far from each other (they have
significant different body measurements). The
classification consists to build a partition of the
population into homogenous clusters (having low
within variability), different one from other (having
high between variability). Each retained cluster,
identified by the convenient cutting of a dendrogram
(graphic expressing the dissimilarity between
clusters or classes) would represent a “type” or a
“cluster”. The convenience of the cutting was
estimated when the gain in between-cluster variance
is not significant. The retained clustering is
expressed by the total between-cluster variance
explained by the model. The interpretation of the
types was achieved by analyzing the contribution of
the different variables to the class. Only variables
with significant contribution (assessed by Chi square
test) at P >0.05 were retained for the final
interpretation (Jain et al., 1999).
The statistical analyses were applied separately
on females and males and the software XLSTAT
(Addinsoft ©) was used.
Results
Succinct individual description of the camel
breeds (Plate 1)
Hadhana breed is a yellowish to red coat color
camel with a fine head, flat forehead, thin neck,
narrow feet and medium size legs. He has a round
and symmetric hump and no long hair on its body.
It is mainly encountered in the hills around Al-Baha
town in a limited area.
Awadi breed is a camel from southern part of
the Kingdom with red to white coat color. A small
head with a slight forehead, short and thin neck,
small udder, pilosity in ears, head and neck, narrow
feet and round hump are the main characteristics of
the breed.
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Plate 1. Camel breeds phenotypes photos from Saudi Arabia. (1) Majaheem (2) Waddah (3) Homor (4) Sofor (5) Shaele
(6) Aouadi (7) Saheli (8) Awrk (9) Hadhana (10) Asail (11) Zargeh (12) Shageh.
Asail is a racing camel characterized by a fine
head with flat forehead, pointed ears, very narrow
feet and long legs, round hump in the hind of the
back, small but balanced udder with very small
teats. Its yellow to brown coat color has short hairs.
Awrk (Awarik) camel has a clear coat color,
almost white, with short hair. It differs from Saheli
breed by a more developed udder, medium neck
circumference, pointed ears and its hump rather at
the hind of the back. It is widely distributed in
Jazan region. Its milk production is moderate.
Homor (or Hamrah) camel is a medium size
dairy breed with a characteristic clear brown coat
color. Its forehead is slightly marked in male and
the ears are pointed with low pilosity. It is
distributed in small number all over the country, but
more common in the northern part.
Majaheem (also named Malah) is a
characteristic black coat camel originated from
north-east part of the country. A pointed hump,
placed in the middle of the back, long hair covering
all the body, long legs, wide feet, well developed
udder are its main characteristics. It is one of the
best dairy producers of the Kingdom.
Saheli, a typical camel living all along the Red
Sea coast, has a characteristic red coat color, a
small head with a pronounced forehead (even in
(1) (2) (3)
(4) (5) (6)
(7) (8) (9)
(10) (11) (12)
H. R. Abdallah and Bernard Faye
275
female), a small and thin neck, a small udder, round
ears without hairs, narrow feet and round hump.
Shaele breed is a medium size camel and has a
grey coat color going sometimes to brown-red
especially in male, pointed ears, narrow feet, short
legs and well symmetric hump. It is a common type
in South-eastern part of the Kingdom.
Shageh is a small-head camel with short and
thick neck, narrow chest but developed udder. It is
close to Zargeh breed but its coat is greyer. It is
more common in the southern part of the Kingdom.
Sofor (or Safrah) has a dark brown coat color
with medium size, long head and neck, well
developed udder, wide chest and long legs. The
ears are pointed and the feet are large. Its body is
widely covered with long hair. It is distributed in
same area than Homor camel. It well resists to the
climatic constraints of the desert.
Waddah (or Maghatir) has a white coat color,
sometimes almost yellow. The characteristics are
pointed ears with low pilosity, long legs and well
developed hump. The male have a developed
forehead and long penis case.
Zargeh, a southern camel, has a blue-grey coat
color with long hair on the head, the neck, the
shoulder and the hump. It has small head with short
neck and flat forehead, pointed ears, small udder,
unbalanced teats, a wide chest on short legs. The
hump could be pointed and placed in hind part of
the back. Sometimes, the coat color on shoulder
and on the back is darker.
The mean values for females (Table 1)
The ranges for the individual measurements
were 31-60 cm for the length of the head, 75-114
cm for the length of the neck, 57-111 cm for the
neck circumference, 158-272 cm of the height, 102-
274 cm for the girth circumference, and 60-110 cm
for the thigh circumference. The udder length range
was 10 to 50 cm and the teat length was 1 to 26 cm.
Table 1. Mean body measurements of 12 types or breeds of female camel in Saudi Arabia (in cm). a,b,c,d Means within
column with different superscript differ (P < 0.05).
Breed Lhead Lneck cNeck Lteat Ludder Height GirthC ThighC
Hadhana 42.1b87.8d74.8d4.2 b17.0 b173.0 c180.5 a.b 73.3 c
Aouadi 42.4b97.6c.d 79.3b.c.d 4.7b15.7b.c 174.3 c191.3 a.b 83.6 b
Asail 42.3b94.3c.d 86.3a.b 2.0 b6.3 c185.8 c199.3 a.b 78.3 b.c
Awrc 41.5b92.0c.d 88.8a.b 4.6 b18.5 a.b 199.3 a201.0 a.b 88.8 a.b
Homor 46.5a107.1a.b 83.9a.b 4.7b25.6 a186.7 c217.3 a93.1 a
Majaheem 46.9a110.7a89.4a6.8a25.0 a192.2 a.b 219.2 a94.9 a
Saheli 42.8b96.2c.d 86.4a.b 5.1 a.b 16.7 b176.0 c195.9 a.b 84.3 b
Shaele 46.9a104.5a.b 83.0a.b.c 4.1b24.8a187.0b.c 213.5 a86.9 b
Shageh 39.3b92.3c.d 92.0a5.2 a.b 17.0 b182.7 c180.7 a.b 90.3 a.b
Sofor 48.1a98.7b.c 81.0a.b.c 4.3 b22.7a.b 185.3 c220.9 a85.3b
Waddah 47.4a108.6a79.0c.d 4.8b25.4 a186.7 c221.8 a93.0 a
Zargah 40.5b87.0d91.0a4.5 b22.0 a.b 185.0 c222.0 a86.5 b
The length of the head was significantly higher
in Homor, Majaheem, Shaele, Sofor and Waddah
breed. The length of the neck was higher in
Majahee, Homor and Waddah and the lower
significant values were observed on Hadhana and
Zargeh breed. Majaheem, Shageh and Zargah had a
significant higher neck circumference than Hadhana,
Awadi and Waddah. The higher breeds were
Majaheem and Awrk. The shorter were Hadhana,
Awadi and Saheli. Regarding girth circumference,
there was a high significant difference between
Zargah, Waddah, Sofor, Majaheem and Homor in
one hand, and Hadhana in another hand. Waddah,
Majaheem and Homor had a high thigh
circumference reverse to Hadhana and Asail. The
length of the udder was quite more important for the
breeds Shaele, Waddah, Majaheem and Homor and
quite smaller in Asail. The length of the teat was
quite higher in Majaheem attesting its dairy
vocation. Asail had also very short teat.
The mean values for males (Table 2)
For the different body measurements, the
values range were 41-59 cm (LH), 85-152 cm (LN),
55-119 cm (CN), 113-226 cm (HW), 134-249 cm
(HG) and 73-123 cm (TC) showing a higher
homogeneity than for females.
In male, there was no significant difference
between breeds for the head length. The neck was
significantly longer in Majaheem, Homor, Wadda
and Shageh, reverse to Asail and Hadhana
characterized by a shorter neck. The highest neck
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circumferences were observed on Majaheem,
Wadda, Saheli and Shageh while no significant
difference was observed for height.
The girth circumference was also higher in
Majaheem, Waddah, Homor and Sofor, but Shageh
and Saheli were in the same group. The lowest
measurement was reported on Awadi. The thigh
circumference was highest in the same breeds than
female, but also in Shageh. Asail breed has the
finest thigh.
Table 2. Mean body measurements of 10 types or breeds of male camel in Saudi Arabia (in cm). a,b,c,d Means within
column with different superscript differ (P < 0.05).
Breed Lhead Lneck Cneck Height GirthC ThighC
Hadhana 49.5a96.5 b73.0c183.0 a209.0a.b 95.5a.b
Aouadi 46.0a107.0 a.b 83.0b.c 178.0 a176.0 b100.0 a.b
Asail 46.0a98.8 b82.0c184.8 a199.6a.b 84.8b
Homor 49.3a114.6 a96.7a.b 198.6 a228.0a103.6a
Majaheem 51.5a119.7a100.8a203.3a230.8a106.7 a
Saheli 45.0a103.0 a.b 115.0a179.0a220.0a91.0b
Shaele 48.8a117.2 b88.6b.c 193.2 a200.7 a.b 94.4 b
Shageh 54.0a133.0 a119.0a193.0a235.0a104.0 a
Sofor 51.5a104.5 a.b 93.5a.b 191.5 a219.0a98.0a.b
Waddah 51.4a122.8 a97.9a190.2 a226.0a104.1a
Sexual differences
On average, the male measurements were
higher in male for all the parameters. The male
head was 11% longer, the neck 12% longer, the
neck circumference 13% higher, the thigh
circumference 14%. The difference in height (4%)
and girth circumference (6%) was less marked.
The sexual difference was more important in
Shageh breed: considering all the parameters, the
body measurements of the Shageh male was 27%
higher than female. This difference was 13% for
Hadhana, 11% for Saheli, 10% for Waddah, 9% for
Majaheem, 8% for Homor and Sofor, 6% for
Aouadi, 5% for Shaele and 3% only for Asail.
Correlations between measurements
The correlation matrix was achieved for each
group of camel (male or female) showing globally
significant correlations between most of the
quantitative parameters. There were no significant
negative correlations. Among the parameters, in both
sex, the thigh circumference appeared correlated to
all the others parameters (Tables 3 and 4).
Table 3. Correlation matrix between the quantitative measurements of the female camel in Saudi Arabia. Significant
coefficients at P <0.05 were in bold.
parameter L head L neck Neck C L teat L udder Height W Girth C Thigh C
L head 1 0.540 -0.034 0.132 0.489 0.260 0.238 0.311
L neck 0.540 1 0.104 0.172 0.389 0.303 0.345 0.353
Neck C -0.034 0.104 1 0.163 -0.132 0.348 0.088 0.233
L teat 0.132 0.172 0.163 1 0.294 0.119 0.111 0.201
L udder 0.489 0.389 -0.132 0.294 1 0.116 0.360 0.267
Height W 0.260 0.303 0.348 0.119 0.116 1 0.289 0.366
Girth C 0.238 0.345 0.088 0.111 0.360 0.289 1 0.410
Thigh C 0.311 0.353 0.233 0.201 0.267 0.366 0.410 1
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277
Table 4. Correlation matrix between the quantitative measurements of the male camel in Saudi Arabia. Significant
coefficients at P <0.05 were in bold.
Variables L head L neck Neck C Height W Girth C Tigh C
L head 1 0.537 0.310 0.190 0.286 0.439
L neck 0.537 1 0.388 0.244 0.331 0.434
Neck C 0.310 0.388 1 0.249 0.574 0.621
Height W 0.190 0.244 0.249 1 0.294 0.303
Girth C 0.286 0.331 0.574 0.294 1 0.568
Tigh C 0.439 0.434 0.621 0.303 0.568 1
Classification of the females
The clustering of the female camel breeds was
optimal with a partition within 4 groups of breeds
which explained 59.6 % of the variance. A first
group (type A) included Hadhana, Aouadi, Saheli,
Shageh and Awrk breed. They were characterized
by short dimensions and medium size udder (Figure
1 and Table 5). A second (type D) gathered Homor,
Majaheem, Shaele, Sofor and Waddah. This group
had significantly higher measurements (LH, LN,
HW, GC, TC) and well developed udder. Zargah
and Asail appeared different and separated from the
2 other groups. Zargah (type B) was medium but
with high girth circumference. Asail (type C) was
also medium but with low development of the
udder and narrow chest.
Table 5. Mean body measurements of the 4 clusters of female camel breed in Saudi Arabia (in cm). a,b;c Means within
column with different superscript differ (P < 0.05).
Cluster Lhead Lneck cNeck Lteat Ludder HeightW GirthC ThighC
A 42.1 b93.3b82.5a4.7 b,c 16.8b177.5b190.1b81.9b
B 42.7a,b 93.3 b85.3 a8.3 a29.3 a183.6 a,b 226.6 a81.7 b
C 42.2 b94.2 b86.2 a2.0 c6.2 c185.7 a,b 199.2 a,b 78.2 b
D 47.0a107.8 a84.0 a5.1a,b 24.9 a188.3 a218.7a92.7a
Figure 1. Classification tree of the 12 female camel breeds of Saudi Arabia according to their body measurements
showing a partition within four types of camel breed.
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Classification of the males
The optimal classification of male camel breeds
gave a partition in 6 clusters explaining 77% of the
variance (Figure 2). The type A (Asail and Shaele)
had fine neck, thin leg and narrow chest, but was
high. They are rangy camel useful for racing and
riding. The type B (Homor, Majaheem, Sofor and
Waddah) included big size camels. The type C
included only Hadhana characterized by a short and
fine neck and medium other measurements. The
type D (Aouadi) was a small head animal with very
narrow chest. The type E (Shageh) was the biggest
type. The type F (Saheli) had a thick neck and a
thin thigh with a medium chest (Table 6).
Table 6. Mean body measurements of the 6 clusters of male camel breed in Saudi Arabia (in cm). a,b,c Means within
column with different superscript differ (P < 0.05).
Cluster Lhead Lneck Cneck Height GirthC ThighC
A 47.8a110.6a,b 86.2b190.2a200.3b91.0b
B 50.9a119.1a97.8a194.7a226.9a104.0a
C 49.5a96.5b73.0b183.0 a209.0 a,b 95.5a,b
D 46.0a107.0a,b 83.0b178.0a176.0b100.0a,b
E 54.0a133.0a119.0a193.0 a235.0 a104a,b.0
F 45.0a103.0a,b 115.0a179.0 a220.0 a,b 91.0b
Figure 2. Classification tree of the 10 male camel breeds of Saudi Arabia according to their body measurements showing
a partition within six types of camel breed.
Discussion
The body measurements were currently used
for describing the camel phenotypes. Ishag et al.
(2011) described the phenotypes of Sudanese camel
breeds by measuring the heart girth, the barrel girth,
the height at shoulder and the body weight. In our
study, the barrel girth was not taken in account,
because this measurement is depending of the hump
size which varies according to the body condition
score of the animal (Kamili et al., 2006). Indeed,
the hump is the main fat storage form in camel
representing on average 85% of the adipose tissue
H. R. Abdallah and Bernard Faye
279
(Faye et al., 2001a). Except for the thigh
circumference, the body measurements were not
significantly correlated to all the other
measurements. The thigh conference seems to be a
good indicator of the camel conformation,
including the udder in female. Besides, the thigh
circumference is commonly used by the butchers
for predicting the weight of the carcass (Faye et al.,
2001b).
The clustering of the different breeds was
slightly different between male and female. The
sexual difference in the general conformation of
camel conducted naturally to a different distribution
between the breeds. On average, the measurements
were higher in male compared to female, but in
different proportion according the breed.
By regarding, the only clustering of the
females, a close relationship with the classification
of Al-Eknah (unpublished results) based on the
ecosystem (desert, hill, coast) or the use (riding,
racing or production) was observed. Three main
groups of camel could be described: (i) the big size
camels from desert areas with good dairy potential
(Homor, Majaheem, Waddah, Shaele, Sofor); (ii)
the small size camels from hill or beach having
multipurpose vocation (Aouadi, Awrk, Saheli,
Hadhana); (iii) the medium size rangy camel breed
for riding and racing (Asail, Zargeh, Shageh).
This classification is corresponding partially to
the typology of Blanc and Hennesser (1989) which
distinguish (i) the big size camel living in desert
plain, (ii) the medium size camel used for riding,
and (iii) the small size camel living in mountainous
areas.
In Saudi Arabia, these phenotypes are linked
partly to different farming system (Abbas et al.,
2000; Al-Khamis and Young, 2006): (i) the big size
camels are mainly used for dairy production,
adapted to desert areas but able to undergo
intensification process with settlement around the
towns, (ii) the small size camels from coastal or hill
environment are mainly associated to small scale
camel farm in more favorable climatic environment
characterized by a diversification of the livestock
rearing activities and the use of camel as
multipurpose animals, (iii) the medium size camels
are linked to racing stables where the animals
received enriched diet and undergo special exercise
for competitions. For racing camels however,
genetic exchanges with neighboring countries could
lead to specific classification (Shorepy, 2011).
The described phenotypes are also mainly
linked to geographical distribution as it has been
observed in other countries (Ould Ahmed et al.,
2010).
The big size camels are more common in the
northern and eastern part of the Kingdom of Saudi
Arabia, and the small size camel in the south-
western part. The medium size camel having a
riding and racing vocation, they are more widely
distributed in the country. The preliminary results
of camel genotyping in Saudi Arabia produce
similar conclusions showing a geographical
classification distinguishing the camel in the
northern part from the camel breeds in the East,
themselves different from the camel breed living in
the western mountainous part of the Kingdom
(Mahrous et al., 2011). These results were recently
confirmed (Almathen et al., 2012) revealing three
genetically separated groups of dromedary in Saudi
Arabia with distinct, although likely overlapping,
geographic distribution in the Southern west region
(Awrk, Awadi, Hadhana and Saheli), East region
(Majaheem and Shaele) and Northern part
(Waddah, Sofor, and Homor) of the Kingdom of
Saudi Arabia respectively. The results also
highlighted that the Awrk and Awadi camel
populations were genetically distinct from the other
camel populations.
Conclusion
The fine phenotype description could be a first
step for establishing a classification of the different
breeds or types, and for valorizing the camel
biodiversity in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Elsewhere, the current changes in the camel
farming systems (settlement, intensification, in-
door feeding systems, implementation around the
towns, etc.,) would increase the demand for more
productive and specialized animals. For this reason,
a clear description of the potential is an important
step for the future improvement of the camel
breeds. The present phenotype study limited to the
body measurements would be an opportunity to
underline the richness of this emblematic animal for
all the Saudi people whatever their social rank or
the place where they are living.
Acknowledgements
This study has been achieved within FAO
project UTF/SAU/021/SAU with the support of
Camel and range research Center (CRRC). The
authors thank Mr Sallal Issa Al-Mutairi, head of the
CRRC for his encouragements and support. We
thank also all the camel owners and shepherds who
help us to manage their animals and gave us their
agreement for measuring them. This work was done
with the powerful help of all staff of Ministry of
Agriculture in different regions of the Kingdom.
Thanks also to FAO regional officer, Dr
Mohammed Bengoumi who supported this project
Hadhana
Emir. J. Food Agric. 2012. 24 (3): 272-280
http://ejfa.info/
280
from the beginning. And finally, thanks to all the
camel who accepted to be measured.
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