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About the International Year of the Camelid

Worldwide
EVENT NAME:
Food—International Year of Camelids
EVENT CATEGORIES:
Food , Environment Space & The Outdoors
Dates Active:
Begins: Jan 01, 2024
Ends: Dec 31, 2024

DESCRIPTION:

2024 is the United Nations International Year of the Camelid.

Camelids are a family of mammals that includes several species: camel, llama, alpaca, guanaco, and vicuña. These animals are native to the arid regions of South America and parts of Asia and have been domesticated for various purposes for thousands of years.

Camelids are known for their unique physical characteristics, which allow them to thrive in harsh and arid environments. Some key features of camelids include:

Humps: Camels are most notable for their distinctive humps, made of fat stores. These humps enable them to store energy and water and survive in extreme desert conditions. Llamas, alpacas, guanacos, and vicuñas, on the other hand, do not have humps.
Long Necks: Camelids have long, slender necks that are well-adapted for browsing vegetation in their native habitats.
Split Upper Lip: Their upper lips are split, allowing them to selectively feed on vegetation without consuming excessive amounts of thorny or spiky plants.
Thick Fur: Many camelids have thick fur that provides insulation against the cold and protects them from extreme temperatures.
Each species within the camelid family has its unique characteristics and uses:
Camels: Camels are primarily found in the Middle East and Central Asia. The two main species are the dromedary camel, with a single hump, and the Bactrian camel, with two humps. Camels are used for transportation, milk, meat, and wool.
Llamas: Llamas are domesticated camelids found in the Andean region of South America. They are larger than alpacas and have been bred for their wool and meat and as pack animals. Llamas are also used in some areas for guarding livestock due to their alert and protective nature.
Alpacas: Alpacas are smaller and more delicate than llamas and are selectively bred for their soft and luxurious coats. Alpaca wool is highly valued for its warmth, fineness, and hypoallergenic properties.
Guanacos and Vicuñas: Guanacos and vicuñas are wild camelid species found in South America. Guanacos are more robust, while vicuñas are more petite and highly prized for their fine wool. Both species are protected and are known for their graceful appearance.
In addition to their uses for transportation, fiber, meat, and milk, camelids play significant cultural and ecological roles in their native regions. They have adapted to survive in challenging environments and have become integral to the livelihoods and traditions of the communities that have relied on them for generations.

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LAST UPDATED:

Dec 01, 2023

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