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I.L. Mason


Ass and mule. Considering its importance in the warmer parts of the world, and espec­ially in Africa and Asia where asses outnumber horses in the ratio two to one, a monograph and some research and development work should he devoted to the donkey.

Bali cattle. The total number of Bali cattle in only about 1 million. However, they are adapted to a hot humid climate and therefore may well he much more suitable than zebus for meat production in the wet tropics.

Camel. The world's 17 million camels are still vital to the economies of many of the arid countries of North Africa and Asia. The importance of the camel is belatedly being recognized.

Elephant. The Indian elephant is still widely used in forestry work in southern Asia. Animals for work are usually captured from the wild. In future more attention will have to be paid to breeding them in captivity.

Mithun. The mithun numbers about 150,000 in the hill forest country to the north and south of the valley of Assam. It might with advantage be exploited as a meat/work animal both in its natural habitat and in similar climates elsewhere.

Reindeer. There are about 2 1/2 million reindeer in northern U.S.S.R. and numbers are increasing. In this environment reindeer farming is the only profitable type of animal production. There are smaller numbers in the north of Scandinavia where they are still the chief sustenance of the Lapps.

Yak. The yak is exploited at altitudes between 3,000 and 5|000 metres in Central Asia, It is irreplaceable for production of milk, meat, wool, hair, work and manure (for fuel).

New and potential domesticants - Bovidae. There is a case for domesticating the local African fauna which are resistant to the local environmental conditions. Eland and oryx show most promise.

New and potential domt.stioants – Cervidae. Red deer and being farmed in several places including Scotland, New Zealand and Australia. For meat production they are competitive with sheep and cattle on improved pasture but not on hill land.

27.1 Introduction

This subject turns out to be so vast that I have had to restrict my coverage somewhat arbitrarily to the larger mammals. Thus I shall omit reference to such important species as the rabbit among small mammals and I shall also omit birds,, lower vertebrates and inverte­brates. Among potential domesticants I shall confine myself to members of the Bovidae and Cervidae and omit interesting small mammals such as the giant rat and cane rat of West Africa, The domestic species are considered in alphabetical order, A few years ago I might have included the water buffalo but, thanks largely to Dr. Ross Cookrill and his book "The health and husbandry of the domestic buffalo" published by FA0 in 1974, the buffalo has now taken its rightful place, along with cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and horses, among the major live­stock species. Incidentally the word "farm" in the title should not be taken too literally, since some of the species discussed below are not actually kept on farms.

27.2 Ass and mule

Table 27.1

Distribution of equine species (1978) (Millions)





11.4 2.1 3.7


21.0 2.3 13.4


8.1 6,6 32.3


1.4 0.7 5.8
U.S.S.R. 0.4 - 5.8


- - 0.6
TOTAL 42.3 11.7


Developing Countries

40.3 11.0


Developed Countries

2.0 0.7


Source: FAO Production yearbook 1978. No.32

The figures in Table 27.1 show that 47 percent of the world's equines are asses or mules. Yet, compared with horses we know very little about them. For instance the FAO Production Yearbook does not record meat production of donkeys separate from that of horses. As far as I have been able to discover there are no textbooks or monographs devoted to the donkey, no research on its physiology, productivity or working ability, no selection experiments to increase its performance. Some reference to donkeys and mules may occur in a minor section of a few of the innumerable books on horses. Further scrutiny of Table 27.1 makes clear the reason for this neglect. Three-quarters of the world's donkeys live in Africa and Asia, that is in the developing countries, where they outnumber horses in the ratio of two to one. Here they are still of vital importance as working animals. Next to the camel they are the farm animal best adapted to a hot dry environment. Surely some research and developmental work should be devoted to them. Perhaps as a preliminary there should be an assessment of their status and importance, in the form of a monograph on asses and mules comparable to the FAO book on buffaloes.

The decline in the use of equines for work in the developed countries has meant that some of the large breeds of donkeys particularly adapted for breeding mules are now almost extinct. I think particularly of the Poitou breed of France, the Catalan of Spain, the Ragusan of Sicily and the American Jack. We may be losing an important source of genes for improving donkeys in those parts of the world where they are still important.

In other countries the decline in the use of donkeys for transport has led to their being turned loose, and there are large feral populations for instance, in Australia and U.S.A. Instead of allowing them to become a pest (as they are doing in Saudi Arabia) they should be systematically cropped for food. This used to be done in Transvaal and Rhodesia where they were used as pig food or exported to Zaire.

27.3 Bali cattle

The Bali cattle are particularly interesting because they and the buffalo, are the only species of the family Bovidae to have been domesticated in the tropics. Apart from the ele­phant they are the only mammalian species to be domesticated in the humid tropics.

Their wild ancestor the banteng (Bos (Bibos) javanious) used to be present in all of south­east Asia from Manipur to Burma. It is now reduced to a few thousand scattered populations (chiefly in reserves) in Burma, Thailand, Indochina, Borneo and Java. Its survival is threat­ened by destruction of habitat, hunting and military operations and IUCN (1978) classifies it as "vulnerable".

The domestic variety is represented by not more than 1 million individuals} they form 100 percent of the cattle population on the island of Bali, where they were presumably first domesticated at an early date. Recently they have been exported with success to other regions of the wet tropics. Their present distribution is shown in Table 27.2 and figure 27.1.

Table 27.2

Estimated numbers and distribution of Bali cattle, 1971/72


Numbers of Bali cattle

% of total cattle population



298,000 100

South and South­east Sulawesi

296,000 95


140,000 96


225,000 100
Other regions 5,000 -


200 -


200 -

Australia (Northern Territory)

1,500 -
TOTAL 965,900

Source: Payne and Rollinson (1973)

The Australian figures refer to a feral population descended from 20 animals introduced from Bali in 1849 (Kirby, 1979).

As meat animals Bali cattle have several desirable features: high calving rate -80 percent longevity - average of 6 calves in a cow's lifetime; ability to live on pasture and cut forage without concentrates; high dressing percent - age - 52-58} low fat percent­age in carcass - 2-4 percent. The latter figures refer to mature export cattle, chiefly hulls, averaging about 375 kg liveweight. In addition the Bali cattle are excellent work animals in small fields. Above all they are eminently adapted to a hot humid climate and therefore may be more suitable than zebus for meat production on small farms in the humid tropics.

Their use in systems of commercial crossing with beef bulls is being studied in Sulawesi and in Australia. Although the average weight of the Bali calf is low (17 kg) the cow can give birth to a crossbred calf of twice this size without difficulty. In spite of their low milk yield (2-3 litres daily) they can apparently also feed the crossbred calf. Hybrid vigour is exhibited in viability as well as in size. Since crossbreeding is forbidden on Bali itself the island can act as a source of purebred female foundation stock for such a crossing system. Since it is the crossbreeders in other islands who benefit, it would seem only fair that the producers on Bali should be subsidized for breeding purebreeds. Incidentally when crossed with ordinary cattle, most of the hybrid males are sterile.

27.4 Camels

The world population of camels is only about 17 million; this is much lower than that of the donkey but unlike the donkey it has never lacked its literature. This can be explained by its higher social status. Although the one-humped camel was first domesticated in south­ern Arabia before the arrival there of the Arabs, it was the Arabs who exploited it as the animal of the desert par excellence and it has always had a cherished place in Arabic life, prose and poetry and in the folklore of the Bedouin. With the coming of oil and motor trans­port its importance is declining in many Arab countries. However that does not mean its world importance is declining, as indicated in Table 27.3. Its distribution is shown in Figure 27.2.

Table 27.3

Camel distribution and numbers (Millions)

1978 1949/50

North-east Africa

9.9 5.4

West Africa

1.8 0.5

North Africa

0.7 1.0

India, Pakistan, Afghanistan1)

2.3 1.4

South-west Asia

0.6 1.8
  TOTAL 15.3 10.1
1978 1969/71


1.042) 1.15


0.62 O.64


0.23 0.25
  TOTAL 1.89 2.04
Source: FAO Production Yearbook 1962, No. 16 and 1978, No. 32
Notes 1) Including some two-humped  2) Recent Chinese Sources say only 0.6
  3) Including some one-humped.  

Because of its adaptation to an. arid environment, its ability to live on plants inedible for other species, its economy in utilizing both water and protein, and its efficiency as a draught animal the camel is still vital to the economies of many countries and especially Somalia (5.4 million), Sudan (2,9 million), and northwest India (1,2 million). In Somalia camel milk is the main sustenance of the population. Its ability to fend for itself is shown by the amazing success of the feral camel population of Australia, This indicates that it also has a future for easy-care meat production in its original habitat.

The importance of the camel in warfare has always been recognized and is highlighted by the many books on its husbandry published by British and French colonial army veterinarians at the end of the last and beginning of this century. Its agricultural importance is being recognized and a number of books and monographs are now being published. The ones I know about are listed in Table 27.4.

Table 27.4

Books and bibliographies on the one-humped camel

Authors Publisher Date Content

H. Gauthier-Pilters (with Ann Begg)

Chicago University Press


Biology and use in western Sahara


A. Ortiz and E. Mukasa-Magerwa

I.L.C.A. (Addis Ababa)


Literature review -physiology, productivity, disease

3. Various

I.F.S. (Sweden)


Provisional report (No, 6) of Workshop on camels, Khartoum, 1979

4. D. Richard

I.E.M.V.T. (Paris)

Bibliography of 1,200 references

5. R.T. Wilson

Longman, London


Intermediate textbook

The FAO "Camel Project" foreshadowed by Dr, Ross Cockrill in 1972 has thus been preempted, FAO has turned its attention to practical activities in the field. Camel pro­jects are in the pipeline for Libya, Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan, besides a regional pro­ject for the Middle East,

Professor EL Disougi, Dean of the Veterinary School of King Feisal University, EL Hassa, Saudi Arabia, is planning an international meeting on the one-humped camel,

27.5 Elephants

To the general public the Asian elephant is best known as a zoo and circus animal and for its place in ceremonial processions. Its real economic importance lies in its use for hauling logs and other work in forests, where absence of roads makes the use of wheeled vehicles impossible.

The countries where elephants are still important for forestry include India (Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Assam), Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Since most of the domestic animals are oaught in the wild and trained, it is the population of wild animals which is important. IUCN (1978) gives the figures shown in Table 27.5.

Table 27.5

Wild elephant populations

Southern India (Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka)


Northern India (U.P., Bihar, Orissa, W. Bengal)

1,4.00 - 2,500

N.E. India, Bhutan and Bangladesh

4,000 - 8,000





Indochina (Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam)

3,500 - 5,000


3,000 - 6,000

Sri Lanka

2,000 - 4,000


2,500 - 4,500




28,400 - 42,000

Source: IUCN Red Data Book, 1978.

I am afraid these figures may be over-optimistic. Rival estimates for Malaya, for instance, suggest only 550 - 750 wild elephants. In spite of the apparent high numbers IUCN defines the Indian elephant as "endangered" because of the continuous destruction of its habitat - the rain forests.

I have been able to obtain a few estimates of the numbers of domestic elephants, nor of the number bred in captivity. In Kerala there are 25O tamed elephants, about two-thirds of the domestic elephants are caught in the wild and the rest bred in captivity 'Filial, 1980).In Thailand there were 5,737 domestic elephants in 1973 compared with 13,197 in 1950; few are bred in captivity (Lekagul, 1980). In Assam about 400 are captured each year but it is not known what proportion this represents of the wild population. In Bangladesh, there are probably under 80 working elephants and capture from the wild, has been suspended.

It is clear that if the Asian elephants are to retain their place as the most intellig­ent and strongest of working animals there must be extensive protection of their wild habitat combined with greater efforts to overcome the difficulties of breeding in captivity.

As a footnote I should mention that the North African elephant was captured by the Ptolemaic Egyptians (3rd Century B.C.) and trained for use in war. This was copied by the Cathaginians who used it in their unsuccessful invasion of Italy. Apparently it was not bred in captivity and due to overcropping and desiccation of the environment the North African elephant became extinct in Roman times.

The taming of the African elephant for work was initiated by the Belgians in the Congo at the beginning of this century. At one time there was a herd of 100 but during the dis­turbances accompanying the obtaining of independence of Zaire it was reduced to nine. This enterprise is now being revived.

27.6 Mithun

The wild gaur (Bos(Bibos)gaurus) is closely related to the banteng and has an over­lapping distribution in South Asia; in the West it extended into India and in the South-East it did not reach the islands. Like the banteng its habitat is the tropical forest up to 2,000 m altitude. It is now reduced to scattered herds, harassed by hunting, exposed to domestic cattle diseases and driven from its choice of habitat. It is recorded in North-East and in peninsular India, in Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, and Peninsular Malaysia, chiefly in reserves. In 1976 IUCN classified it as "vulnerable" but made no estimate of its num­bers.

The gaur has been domesticated and is found in the forest country between 200 and 3,000 m altitude in the hills to the north and south of the Valley of Assam (see Figure 27.3). It does not thrive in the hot lowlands or the cool uplands. Its name is mithun in Assamese and gayal in Bengali (and Hindi). It has also been called Bos frontalis. I shall use the name "mithun" since "gayal" is also used for wild gaur. Gaur and mithun are very similar in appearance but the mithun is smaller and tamer and usually has broader, less curved horns and a longer dewlap. The primary role of the mithun is an a sacrificial animal - either at religious festivals or at "feasts of merit". Its flesh is eaten after sacrifice but the mithun is not raised for meat, is not used for work and traditionally was never milked. The idea of milking was recently introduced in the south, but the yield is only 2-4 kg daily. Simoons (1968) estimated their total population at 100,000 - 150,000. Mare detailed figures are given in Table 27.6. No figures are available for Bhutan and Bangladesh (Chittagong Hill tracts).

Table 27.6

Mithun distribution and numbers

India (1976/77):


  Arunachal Pradesh










Burma (1978/79): 









  India:   Burma:  
Source: Roy (1980) Source: Anderson (1980)

These numbers are not large - but, considering the size of the mithun (adult males weigh 4OO-5OO kg) and its adaptation to a humid sub-tropical climate and a hilly topography it could well be exploited as a meat/work animal not only in its present habitat but also in similar environments elsewhere.

It is encouraging to be able to report that India has started a National Centre for mithun studies in Arunachal Pradesh (Bhat, 1980).

27.7 Reindeer

In 1973 there were 2.7 million reindeer in the north of U.S.S.R. and in 1976 200,000 in Finland. Considering the smaller populations in Sweden and Norway the world population must be over 3 million. At the height of its economic exploitation in northern Europe and Asia the reindeer was used a a draught, pack and riding animal and as a source of meat, milk and fur. Its use for transport is now declining but because of its adaptation to a harsh environ­ment its products remain important. In fact, studies in the north of U.S.S.R. have shown that in this environment reindeer farming is more profitable than meat production from other spec­ies and also more profitable than fur farming or fishing.

Incidentally, although milk production is modest (50-750 g/day) the high solids content of the milk (c.32%,including c.18%fatand 10% protein) is sufficient compensation.

Its numbers in the U.S.S.R. are increasing and there is also a considerable literature describing both the present state of reindeer production and the result of experimental research. Most of this literature is in Russian. There thus seems no need for promotional or conservation activities.

There is no absolute distinction between wild and domestic reindeer. They are class­ified according to the degree of their domestication into three groups, i.e. complete regulation of breeding, incomplete regulation and no regulation. The most promising type of reindeer breeding is that of complete regulation. Possibly there is a moral here for Alaska and northern Canada. It might be profitable to domesticate, that is to regulate the breeding, of the caribou which is the same species and lives in the same environment as the reindeer.

27.8 Yak

The wild yak (Bos(Poëphagus)mutus) is now very rare. It has been reduced by hunting to small numbers in scattered locations of the Tibetan plateau and adjacent highlands. IUCN (1974) classifies it as endangered.

The domestic yak is bred in the high mountains (3,000-5,000 m.) of Central Asia, from the Himalayas and the Tibetan plateau through the Karakorum, the Pamirs, the Tien Shan to the Attai and the mountains of northern Mongolia (see Figure 27.4). The largest population is in China, then Mongolia (½ million), U.S.S.R. and Nepal, with smaller populations in Bhutan (52,000), India (18,000) and Afghanistan. Since it is the only animal which can live at these altitudes it is irreplacable for the production of milk, meat, wool, hair, work and manure (for fuel). (Bonnemaire, 1976;Epstein, 1974).

The domestic yak is considerably smaller than the wild yak but its weight varies between populations. Most published means fall within the range 200-300 kg for adult females and 300-500 kg for adult males. Average milk yields usually lie within the range 300-700 kg per lactation. This is almost as high as the local cattle but fat content (6.5%), protein content (5.3%)and total solids (17.3%) are very much higher.

There is a tradition of crossbreeding between yak and cattle - usually domestic bull x yak cow. The hybrids show heterosis in milk yield and size; the male hybrids are sterile. The hybrids live at lower altitudes (2,000-3,000 m).

Most of the research and development work has been done in the U.S.S.R. One interesting application is the successful introduction of Pamir yaks to the Caucasus in order to exploit pastures at 2,500-3,700 m.

However, FAO is just completing a yak (and sheep) production project in Bhutan; Prance has a yak project in Nepal and India has a yak (and mithun) project for Arunachal Pradesh in the pipeline.

27.9 New and potential domesticants - bovidae

One argument in favour of the domestication of new species of Bovidae in Africa is that they, unlike cattle, are naturally adapted to the local climate, pasture and diseases. This applies particularly to the savannahs of eastern and southern Africa where wild animals are resistant to trypanosomiasis and tick-borne diseases. Recent research and experience on game farming in Africa has been reviewed by Field (1979)and by King and Heath (1975).

Growth rates of wild ungulates tend to be faster than those of equivalent domestic animals under similar range conditions. They have a higher dressing percentage and a higher proportion of carcass lean. Milk production tends to be lower.

In southern Africa and U.S.S.R. there has been considerable study of the eland, the largest of the antelopes. Recent attempts at domestication in East Africa have concentrated on five species: Thomson's gazelle, wildebeest, buffalo, oryx and eland. The first three show little promise because the adult males are dangerous to man. The comparison between the other two species and domestic stock at Galana ranch in Kenya is shown in Table 27.7.

Table 27.7

Comparisons between wild and domestic stock at Galana Ranch, Kenya

Oryx Sheep Eland Cattle (zebu)

Water requirements, %





Age at first parturition, months

30 15 36-46


Calving interval, months

10 21


Annual calving rate, %

102 89 57-100


Source: King and Heath (1975)

Observations on behaviour showed that eland and buffalo were more sensitive to weather changes (rise in temperature) than oryx and zebu while oryx were much less sensitive than the other species to change in the state of the vegetation (poor pasture) (Lewis, 1977).

It is concluded that both oryx and eland are useful domesticants. The former has great potential to complement camel browsing in very arid areas (83 percent of its intake is grass). While the eland is likely to be limited to medium potential small-scale ranch or farmland where there is plenty of bush. Musk ox. As a footnote I should mention that in northern Norway and U.S.S.R. where the musk ox (Ovibos moschatus) reintroduced from Canada and Alaska. It produces not musk but qiviut which is the fine hair of the undercoat.

27.10 New and potential domesticants - cervidae

The idea of domesticating deer is not new. For instance there are Scythian pictures of elk being milked and elk were certainly tamed for riding and draught in northern Europe. More recently it is being domesticated experimentally in the U.S.S.R.

As for other deer in Europe it is certain that they were commonly bred in parks, either for hunting or for meat. The modern attempts at domestication have concentrated on the red deer. In Scotland it was argued that because deer should be better adapted to the hills, deer farming might prove more profitable than the traditional hill sheep farming which only survives by virtue of the hill sheep subsidy. Experiments were begun in 1970 jointly by the Rowett Research Institute and the Hill Farming Research Organization. There are now also a number of private deer farmers* The conclusion to date is that the deer is not fundamentally more profitable than sheep. In fact deer farming only pays as long as the price of venison is high. Leer are better able to utilize heather but they are much more sensitive to cold than sheep (sheep are much better insulated) and need trees or walls for protection against wind. After all, they are naturally a forest animal and in Scotland they are at the north­ern limit of their natural range.

The success story with red deer is in New Zealand. Red deer were introduced from Scotland in the last century and quickly acclimatized. Numbers increased so much that these populations were endangering the natural forests of the south island. Control was first by slaughter but later live animals were captured (by tranquillization from helicopters) and used to establish deer farms. These have become a great economic success, partly because of the high price paid for the velvet (young antlers) in the Par East. Research has shown that deer are more profitable than sheep for meat production in intensive husbandry but not on the hills. Figures from Ruakura Research Station are: calving rate: $6 percent; calf mortality: 4 percent; daily gain of entire males on pasture: 250 g; slaughter weight: 157 kg at 27 months. There is New Zealand Deer Farming Annual and a magazine entitled "The Deer Farmer". Recently the Ministry of Agriculture has officially recognized the red deer as a domestic animal. Deer farming is also growing in popularity in Australia.

27.11 Conclusions

Several of the species described above have special ecological niches which only they can fill - the camel in arid areas, the reindeer in the arctic, the yak at high altitudes. The adaptation of the mithun and Bali cattle could be exploited further afield. The elephant is unrivalled for its strength and intelligence. The ass is a much neglected animal. New resources which show promise are the oryx in the semi-arid areas of East Africa and the red deer in New Zealand.

27.12 References

Anderson, J.L. I980. Personal communication.

Bonnemaire, J. 1976. Le yak domestiqnie ed son hybridation. Ethnozootechnie No. 15, pp. 46-77.

Bhat, P.N. I980, Personal communication.

Cockrill, W. Ross 1974. The Husbandry and Health of the Domestic Buffalo. FAO, Rome.

D'yachenko, N.O. 1975.The socialist reorganization of reindeer breeding in the extreme north and prospects for development. Nauchnye Trudy. Mauchno-Issledovatel'skii Institut Sel'sko KhozyaistraKrainego Severe 21:3-18 (in Russian). Abstract in Animal Breeding Abstracts 45: No. 1607.

Epstein, H. 1974. Yak and chauri. World Animal Review No. 9, pp. 8-12.

PAO, 1979. Production Yearbook No. 32 1978.

Field, C.R. 1979. Applied Ecology: 63-101.

IPS 1980. Provisional report No. 6. Camels. Khartoum, Sudan, December 1979* International Foundation for Science, Stockholm, Sweden.

IUCN 1974,1976, 1978. Red Data Book. International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, Gland, Switzerland.

King, J.M. and Heath B.R. 1975 Game domestication for animal production in Africa. World Animal Review No. 16, pp. 23-30.

Kirby, G.W.M. 1979. Bali cattle in Australia. World Animal Review No. 31, pp. 24-29.

Lekagul, Boonsong, 1980. Personal communication.

Lewis, J.C. 1977.Game domestication for animal production in Kenya: activity patterns of eland, oryx, buffalo and zebu cattle. Journal of Agricultural Science 89: 551-563.

Ortiz, A and Mukasa-Magerwa, B. 1979.A review of some aspects of physiology, productivity and diseases of dromedary. International Livestock Centre for Africa, Addis Ababa.

Payne, W.J.A. and Rollinson, D.H.L. 1973. Bali cattle. World Animal Review No. 7, pp. 13-21.

Roy, D.J.1980.Personal communication.

Simoons, P.J. with the assistance of Simoons, E.S. 1968. A ceremonial ox of India. The mithun in nature, culture and history. University of Wisconsin Press, Madison.

Varo, M. and Varo, H. 1971. The milk production of reindeer cows and the share of milk in the growth of reindeer calves. Maataloushallinon Aikakavskirja 43: 1-10.

Fig. 27. 1.


animal genetic resources
conservation and management


animal genetic resources
conservation and management

Fig. 27.3.


animal genetic resources
conservation and management

Fig. 27. 4.


animal genetic resources
conservation and management

Potentiel agricole des espèces mineures d'animaux de ferme dans l'ancien monde

Anes et mulets. Près de la moitié des équidés domestiquas du monde sont des ánes et des mulets, pourtant nous les connaissons beaucoup moins bien que les chevaux. L'Annuaire FAO de la production ne mentionne pas la production de lait et de viande des ânes; il n'y a ni manuel ni monographie consacrés à cette espèce; on n'a jamais étudie ses caractérs-tiques physiologiques, sa productivité ou son aptitude au travail, ni efrectué des essais de sélection pour améliorer ses performances. L'importance des ànes dans les régions chaudes du mende, et notamment en Afrique et en Asie où ils sont deux fois plus nombreux que les chevaux, justifierait pourtant certains travaux de recherche et de développement.

Bovins de Bali. L'île de Bali possède une espèce unique de bovin domestique provenant de la domestication du "banteng" sauvage, Bibos .javanicua. Le nombre total de ces bovins ne dépasse pas le mil ion, mais ils représentent 95 à 100 Pour cent du cheptel bovin de Bali, lu sud et du sud-est de Sulawesi, de Lombok et de Timor. Comme animaux de boucherie, ils offrent plusieurs avantages, à savoir un taux de conception élevé, une aptitude à prospérer sur des pâtures pauvres, un fort rendement au parage et une faible teneur en graisse de la carcasée. Ibis surtout ils s'adaptent aux climats chauds et humides et ils pourraient donc être beaucoup plus intéressants que les sébus pour la production de viande dans les régions tropicales humides.

Chameaux. Les chameaux (effectifs mondiaux: 17 millions) ont encore une importance écono­mique capitale dans les pays arides d'Afrique du Nord, du Proche et du Moyen Crient et de l'Asie centrale, ou tout au moins dans ceux qui n'ont pas de pétrole. Les principales régions de concentration sont le nord-est de l'Afrique, et la zone Afghanistan-Pakistan-nord-ouest de l'Inde. En fait, près d'un tiers de la population mondiale de chameaux est concentré en Somalie et le lait de chamelle est le principal aliment des habitants. Cn reconnaît finale­ment aujourd'hui l'utilité de cet animal pour la production intensive de lait, la production de viande dans les zones sèches avec un animal qui exige un minimum de soins et pour des travaux divers, et on lui consacre des réunions, des manuels et des bibliographies. Il existe également plusieurs projets PAO concernant les chameaux.

Eléphants. L'éléphant d'Asie est encore très largement utilisé pour les travaux forestiers en Asie du Sud. Etant donné le long intervalle entre les générations (16 à 20 ans), on préfère généralement capturer des éléphants sauvages et leur apprendre à travailler au lieu d'attendre que les éléphants domestiqués se reproduisent. Comme l'habitat de l'éléphant est progressivement détruit, il faudra chercher davantage à l'élever en captivité.

L'éléphant d'Afrique était capturé et dressé à des fins militaires dans l'Egypte de Ptolémée et à Carthage. Plus récemment, il a été domestiqué dans un but plus pacifique au Zaïre mais ceite expérience a été abandonnée au moment des troubles qui ont suivi l'indépendance.

Kithans. Le Bibos gurua sauvage (ou gaur) a été domestiqué sous le nom de nithsn (ou gayal)danc les régions forestières montagneuses du nord et du sud de la vallée de l'Aseaia. Bien qu'il n'en existe qu'une centaine de milliers d'exemplaires, c'est une espèce très intéressante dans la région; on le trouve dans certaines parties du Bhoutan, de l'Inde, de la Birmanie et du Bangladesh. On l'utilise surtout pour les sacrifices et les rites re­ligieux maie sa taille et son adaptation au climat subtropical humide permettrait de l'ex­ploiter de façon rantabli pour la production de viande et pour divers travaux aussi bien dans seci habitat naturel que dans d'autres climats similaires.

Resunes. A l'apogée de son exploitation économique en Europe du nord et en Asie, le renne stait utilisé comme animal de trait, de bàt et de monte, ainsi que pour son lait, sa viande et sa fourrure. Il existe environ 2 millions et demi de rennes dans le nord de l'URSS et leur nombreo s'accroît. Dans un tel milieu, l'élevage du renne est le seul type de production animal» qui soit rentable (c'est-à-dire par rapport ft l'élevage des animaux ft fourrure, à la pàche ou ft la production de viande d'autres animaux- Ils sont moins nombreux dans le nord de la Scandinavie mais lie constituent encore la principale source de subsistance des lapons.

Yaks. Le yak (Poêpaagus gunniens) est exploité antre 3 000 et 5 000 mètres d'altitude en Asie centrale, de l'Himalaya et du plateau du Tibet jusqu'à l'Altaï et aux montagnes du nord de la Mongolie, en passant par le Karakcram, le Pamir et le Tien Shan. C'est en Chine, près de la Mongolie (un demi million d'exemplaires), en URSS et au népal qu'ils sont les plus nombreux mais on les trouve également en nombre plus restreint en Afghanistan, en Inde et au Fhoutan. Comme c'est le seul animal qui puisse vivre & une telle altitude, il est irremp­laçable pour la production de lait, de viande, de laine, de poil, de fumier (pour le chauffage et comme animal de travail. Les sujets métissés avec des bovins possèdent la vigueur des hybrides et sont élevés à plus basse altitude.

Animauur réoemaent domestiquée et animaux pouvant être domestiqués - Bovidés. Il serait utiles de domestiquer la faune africaine qui est résistante aux maladies locales et adaptée au milieu ambiant (climat et nourriture). Au Zimbabwe et en Afrique du Sud, l'élan est considéré comme la plus intéressant en raison de sa taille. Par contre, au Kénya, les comparaisons entre l'élar le buffle, l'oryx et les bovins sont favorables à l'oryx car il supporte mieux la chaleur et une maigre nourriture.

Dans le nord de la Norvège et en URSS, il existe des troupeaux expérimentaux de boeufs unsqués (Ovibos moschatus) réintroduits d'Alaska et du Canada.

Animaux récemment domestiqués et animaux pouvant être domestiqués ~ Cervidés. Le cerf oommun (Carvus elephas) est élevé expérimentalement dans plusieurs localités d'Eoossa. Il s'avère moins résistant que les ovins et les bovins. En Nouvelle-Zélande, l'élevage des cervidés est devenu très rentable car la Chine aohète fort cher leurs bois de velours. Pour la pro­duction de viande, ils sont compétitifs avec les ovins et les bovins sur pâturages améliorés mais non dans les zones de collines.

Potencial agrícola de las especies pecuarias menores del viejo mundo

Asnos y mulos. Casi la mitad del total de los equinos donésticos de1 mundo son asnos y mulos. Sin embargo, en comparacién oon los caballos, sabemos muy poco de elles. En el Anuario de Froducción de la FAO no se registra la producción de carne y leche de asno. No existen libres de texto ni aonegrafías dedicadas a estas especies; tampoco existen in-vestigaciones sobre su fisiología, productividad 0 capacidad de trabajo, ni consta que se hayan heoho experimentes de seleccion para aamentar su rendimiento. Considerando su im-portaneia en las zonas cálidas del mundo y especialmente en Africa y en Asia, donde los asnos son más numerosos que los caballos en la proporción de dos a uno, es évidente que deberîan dedioarse trabajos de invsstigación y desarrollo a este tema.

Canado vacuno de Bali. Ia isla de Bali tiene una especie de ganado vacuno doméstico única en su génere que se originó per domeistieación del banteng salvaje, Bibos javanicua. Aunque el núméro total de ganado bovino de Bali es sólo de aproxirasdamente 1 millón, dicha espeoie constituye entre el 95 - 100 par ciento de la población vacuna de Bali, Sulawesi del sur y sudeste, Lombek y Timor. Como animal de carne, tiene diverses caracteres dessables, a saberi alto percentaje de cenoepeión, capacidad para desarrcllarse en pastos pobres, alto rendi­miento a la canal y bajo contenido de grasa en canal. Sobre todo, se adapta a climas cálides y húmedos y por consiguiente, puede ser mucho más apropiado que los cebús para la producción de carne en las sonas tropicales húmedas.

Canellos. Los 17 millenes de camellos en el mundo siguen siendo de iaportancia capital para la economia da loa paises áridoa da Africa dal norte, Carcano y Medio Oriente, y Asia cantral o, al menos, para las paises qua carecan da pairó1eo. Las principalas zonae da concentracion son Africa nordoriental y Afganistán-Pakistán-India nordocoidantal. En realidad, casi la tercera parte de los canellos del mundo se encuentran en Somalia aolasenta, y la leche de camella constituye el principal sustento de la población. La iaporiancia del camello, tante para la producción iatansiva de leche, como para la producción de carne relativaneate fácil en scnas secas., y tanbién como animal de tra ba jo, se ha reconocido Buy tarda, pero se le dedica un buen número de reunions, libros y referencias bibliográficas. Tansión nay varios proyectos FAO qua involuoran a los canellos.

Elefantes. El elefante de la India sigue eapleándose encrmemente en traba jos forestales en el Asia meridional. Debido al largo intervalo antra ganeracianes (16 -20 años), los animales que se destinan al trabaje suelen capturarse y domesticarse, desatendiendose en cambio la cría. Cam la destruccién de eu hébitat, debaría prestarse más atención a la oría de elefantes cautives.

EL elefante africano se oapturó y entrenó para fines ailitares, en el Egipto tolcmeico y también en Cartage. Más reciantemente, se domesticó en Zaire con propósitos más paeíficos, pare este experimento concluyó con les disturbios que aiguiaron a la independencia del país.

Mithan. El Biboa gaurus (o gaur) salvaje ha sido domesticado como mithan (o gayal) en las regimes forestales al norte y sur del valle de Assam. El número total de esos animales es alredor de 100 000; sin embargo se trata de una especie particularmente interesante en esta región; su área de distribución comprende partes de Bhután, India, Biramnia y Bangladesh. Es sobre todo importante como animal de sacrificio y ritual, pero por su tamano y adaptación a los ambientes húmedos subtropioales podría axplotarse provechosamente como animal de carne/ trabajo tanto en su hábitat natural, como en climas similares de otras partes del mundo.

Reno. Durante el período más importante de su explotación accnómica en Europe y Asia del norte, el reno se utilizó como animal de tiro, carga y monta, asi como fuente de producción de leche, earne y pieles. En el norte de la U.R.S.S. hay aproximadamente 2.5 millones de renos, y su núrmero va en auaento. En este medio ambient*, la cría del reno es el único tipo rentable de producción animal si se compara con la producción de pieles, la pescs o la pro­duoeion de came de otras especies. En e1 norte de Escandinavia el núaero de renos es manor, pero constituyen el sustento principal de los lapones.

Yak. El yak (Poêphagus grunniens) se explota en altitudes comprendidas antra los 3 000 y 5 000 a en Asia central, desde la región del Himalaya y la meseta del Tibet, hasta los Altai y las montanas del norte de Mongolia, pasando por los Karakoram, Panirs y el Tien Shan. Las mayores poblaciones se encuentran en China, a continuación Mongolia (medio millón), la U.R.S.S. y Nepal; poblaciones más pequeñas existen en Afganistán, India, y Bhutan. Por ser el único animal que puede vivir a esta altitud es irremplazable para la producción de leche, came, lana, pelo, trabajo y estiércol (para combustible). Sue híbridos con ganado vacuno muestran un vigor híbrido y se crían a alturas inferiores.

Bovidae - animales nuevos y potencialaente domesticables. Vale la pena domesticar la fauna africana local, que es resistante a las snfermedades locales y se adapta a las condiciones ambientales de la región (clima y recursos forra jeros). En Zimbabwe y Africa del sur, el ant ílope (Teurjotragus) es preferido a causa de su tamaño. En Kenya, por otra parte, las comparaciones antra el Taurotragus. el búifalo, el 6rix y el ganado vacuno han demostrado las ventajas del órix. Es menos sensible al calor y a la vegetación pobre.

En el Norte de Noruega y en la U.R.S.S. existen rebaños experimentales de carnero almiseleño (Ovibos moschatus) que ha sido introducido de Alaska y del Canadá.

Cervidae - Animales nuevos y potencialaente domesticables. Los ciervos comunos (Carvus elephas) están siendo criados experimentalmente en diversos lugares de Escocia. Resultan menos robustos que las ovejas y el ganado vacuno. En Nueva Zelandia, la cria de venados está resultando ahora muy rentable, debido al precio elevado que se paga por la cornaaenta en China. Par lo que se refiere a la produoción de carne, son compartitivos con las ovejas y el ganado vacumo en pastisales ne jorados, pero no en terreno montañoso.

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