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Camelid Central

Camelid Central

Camelid Central offers a broad range of events & services that cover every aspect of Alpacas, Camels and Llamas. Whether you're looking for events, news or marketing – Camelid Central is focused on all things camelid, all the time.

Camelid Central is the one place to find and seek out information, groups, events, shows, retail, fiber, vets, hay, whatever you are interested in, you’ll find it here.

Posted by on in Alpaca

North American Alpaca Industry continues to evolve and thrive

This press release was originally distributed by ReleaseWire

Lincoln, NE -- 10/27/2015 -- Recently, alpacas have been featured on national television shows, in commercials for a variety of products and services and in numerous news stories around the country. 

Why the sudden interest? 

To those familiar with the nearly 30 year old North American alpaca industry, there is nothing sudden about it. Hard work has gone into developing a scientifically-based pedigree registry and a large national show system, while involving alpaca business owners in growing the industry.

While raising alpacas is family friendly, it is a serious business. No different than any other business, it requires hard work, planning and dedication to be successful. Those who put in the research and work can reap the benefits of a profitable business in an industry that is like no other.

Deciding to own alpacas

As with other livestock industries, failed businesses and even rescue situations unfortunately occur. Successful alpaca businesses exist, are attainable, and whether the focus is breeding stock or use of their fleece, alpaca business owners understand and embrace the work that goes into running their alpaca business. With the industry steadily growing in North American for more than 30 years, successful alpaca business owners did not go into this venture expecting to "get rich quick." Many have, indeed, made a successful living in this industry but, as with any business, research and hard work are necessary.

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  • Liberty Alpacas
    Liberty Alpacas says #
    Fantastic article for folks to consider alpaca ownership and a rewarding lifestyle!

Posted by on in Alpaca
National Alpaca Farm Days

On September 26th and 27th, alpaca breeders from across the United States and Canada will invite the public to come to their farm or ranch to meet their alpacas and learn more about these inquisitive, unique animals, the luxury fiber they produce, and why the alpaca business is perfect for environmentally conscious individuals!

About Alpacas
Alpacas, cousins to the llama, are beautiful, intelligent animals native to the Andean Mountain range of South America, particularly Peru, Bolivia, and Chile.

Today, the United States boasts two types of alpacas. Although almost physically identical, the two types of alpacas are distinguished by their fiber. The Huacaya (wa-Ki’-ah) is the more common of the two and has a fluffy, extremely fine coat. On the other hand, the Suri (SUR-ee) is more rare and has fiber that is silky and resembles pencil-locks.

Adult alpacas stand at approximately 36 inches at the withers and generally weigh between 150 and 200 pounds. They do not have horns, hooves, claws, or incisors. Alpacas are alert, intelligent, curious, and predictable. They are social animals that seek companionship and communicate most commonly by softly humming.

About Alpaca Fiber
Long ago, alpaca fiber was reserved for royalty. Today, it is sold several ways. Hand-spinners and fiber artists buy raw fleece. Knitters often purchase alpaca yarn. Fiber cooperatives mills collect alpaca fiber and process it on behalf of the producer.

Alpacas are shorn, without harm, every twelve to eighteen months. An adult alpaca might produce 50 to 90 oz. of first-quality fiber as well as 50 to 100 oz. of second and third quality fiber. Some alpacas already achieve, or exceed, these levels.

Because of its soft texture, alpaca fiber is sometimes compared to cashmere. The fiber also has the luster of silk, making it even more coveted. Alpaca is just as warm as wool, yet it is a mere 1/3 the weight. It comes in 16 natural colors and can be dyed any desired shade.

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Posted by on in Alpaca
Breeders Edge Auction Experience

I had the privilege of attending the Breeders Edge alpaca auction this past weekend in Gainesville, VA. The setting at the Double “O” Good ranch was spectacular, and the hospitality was even better. This was my first time attending this event, and now it will be a regular on my schedule.

The history is so rich in this area, that there is no way to take it all in on this very short trip. I was, however able to squeeze in a visit to the Manassas National Battlefield Park. Amazing stories of some very tough times for our country.

The auction was a huge success, and there was also some money raised for some very worthy causes such as Dr. Anderson’s UT Foundation, Serve Our Willing Warriors and the Quechua Benefit.

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Posted by on in Camel
Five interesting facts about Camels

Camels are certainly unique looking creatures, but there are many characteristics other than their appearance that are quite fascinating.  Here are five interesting facts about camels, from     

1. Camels have adapted in many ways to living in a harsh desert environment.  For instance, they have three eyelids and two sets of eyelashes to keep blowing sand and dust out of their eyes.  They can also close their nostrils if necessary to keep the dust out.  Their feet are large and flat, which keeps them from sinking into the sand.  

2.  There are actually two different types of camel in the world; the Bactrian camel (Asian camel) and the Dromedary camel (Arabian camel).  The Bactrian camel has two humps while the more common Arabian has one.  The Bactrian is the only wild camel left in the world, with only around 950 remaining in the wild.  All other camels are considered domesticated.

3.  Although a lot people think the hump of a camel holds water, it actually holds fat stores.  The fat releases both energy and water when it is needed.  Since the fat is all stored in one place, it makes it easier for the camel to stay cool in the intense desert heat, since the insulating fat is not covering the rest of its body.  

4.  When a camel reaches a water source, they can drink as much as 30 gallons in 13 minutes.  The camel rehydrates faster than any other mammal in the world.  

5.  Camel's milk is surprisingly nutritious.  It contains triple the amount of vitamin C and ten times more iron than cow's milk.  It is closer to human milk than any other type.  

Story by Wes Callison, Tucson News Now

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  • Leslie Herzog
    Leslie Herzog says #
    I think there is a typo in the 5 camel facts: should be Bactrian has 2 humps and dromedary has 1 hump (with an undersized hump at

Posted by on in Alpaca
Peru Celebrates National Alpaca Day

The list of items that Peruvians hold dear to their identities as nationals might be admirably long, but one deserves to be at the top of that list along with Machu Picchu and Inca Cola. That is the alpaca.

Although the official holiday is tomorrow Aug. 1, Peru begins celebrations for National Alpaca Day today. They celebrate not only to encourage national pride, but as well, the conservation of these sacred animals.

Holding this day particularly sacred is the southern region of the country, where the majority of Peru’s (the world’s) camelids are bred.

The region of Puno is organizing activities to celebrate National Alpaca Day to promote consumption, appreciate the herders and their work and as well develop the breeding of these valuable animals, reports El Comercio.

The general public is invited to Pino Park in the city of Puno today, to participate in the activities planned by the Regional Government of Puno (GRP) through the Special Project South American Camelids (PECSA).

The ceremony includes giving thanks to Pachamama (Mother Earth), food and exhibitions.

Original Article: Peru This Week, Hillary Ojeda

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Japanese team discovers 24 new geoglyphs at Nazca, including llamas

Source: RocketNews24

A team of researchers from Yamagata University in Japan announced this week that they have identified 24 new geoglyphs in Nazca, Peru, site of the UNESCO World Heritage Nazca lines.

The newly found geoglyphs are smaller than their famous peers, but estimated to be several centuries older.

The more famous Nazca geoglyphs are estimated to have been created between 400 and 650 AD with the largest spanning 270 meters (890 feet), while the newly discovered images date from 400-200 BC and range from just five to 20 meters (16-66 feet).

These smaller glyphs were carved into the side of hills so they could be clearly seen at the time of their creation.

Over time, natural and human erosion have degraded the lines of the artwork, making them difficult to spot, but the team used a 3-D scanner and photos to locate them. However, some are only partially visible and it’s difficult to tell what they are supposed to represent. Others are clearly llamas, an animal almost synonymous with the Andes.

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Are Pack Llamas the Next Big Trend for Hunting?

Original story by OUTDOORHUB, Daniel Xu

Cheaper than traditional pack animals like horses or mules and more flexible than ATVs, llamas are quickly making a name for themselves among hunters as an alternative way to get their kills out of the woods.

While the idea may sound ludicrous to some, hunters like Thomas Baumeister of Montana call the use of pack llamas one of the best-kept secrets in the backcountry.

“It’s like having a little parrot on your shoulder,” Baumeister told the Independent Record. “They’re always looking at things and paying attention.”

Llamas have been used as pack animals since the very beginning of their relationship with humans. A llama can carry up to 400 pounds, requires less maintenance than a horse, can forage for itself, and can even stay at camp with nearly zero oversight for hours at a time. Llamas are also intelligent creatures with a fierce protective streak, especially against predators. For this reason, the animals have often been trained to replace sheep dogs for safeguarding livestock against carnivores like coyotes and wolves.

A close relative of camels, llamas can go for days without water and are experts at regulating their own internal temperature. One common worry is that the animals may be mistaken for game and shot by other hunters, so outfitters often deck their lamas in orange neck and body covers just to be safe.

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  • Phil Nuechterlein
    Phil Nuechterlein says #
    My wife and I have owned and packed with llamas in Alaska for more than 30 years. Because llamas do not store water like an Asian
Scientists make no bones about Yukon fossil find, redraw camel’s family tree


Miners working the Klondike have uncovered an evolutionary treasure that one paleontologist says is as precious as gold.

Three fossils recovered from a gold mine outside of Dawson City, Yukon, in 2008, are the first Western Camel bones found in the territory and Alaska in decades, and they are forcing scientists to redraw the family tree of the now-extinct, ice-age animal, says Grant Zazula, a paleontologist with the territory’s Department of Tourism and Culture.

For decades, scientists believed the Western Camels that once lived in North America were related to llamas and alpacas common to South America, but they now have the genetic proof they are actually more closely tied to the camels inhabiting Asia and Arabia, said Zazula.

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Article by By Kim Briggeman of the Missoulian

Look out your window.

Imagine, if you will, the impudent nose of a humpty-back camel passing by on the road.

Then another. And another, each animal loaded neck to tail with half a ton of sacks filled with flour and casks filled with nails.

The shock value is delicious, but it was not an uncommon experience along the Mullan Trail 150 years ago in Montana.

Ellen Baumler has studied what there is to study about the Great Camel Experiment that started in the territory in 1865 and petered out the next year. Turns out other pack animals didn’t like the smell of the dromedaries – and vice versa.

“It’s weird, because the newspapers of the day don’t really say very much about it,” said Baumler, a prolific Montana author, blogger and interpretive historian at the Montana Historical Society. “There are only about three or four mentions of camels at all in the Montana Post. You'd think it's something they’d talk about a lot.”

Baumler will be talking about it on Saturday when the annual Mullan Road Conference returns to Fort Benton.

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Posted by on in Camelid

It was great to be able to travel to many alpaca shows this year to introduce Camelid Central. As mentioned in an earlier blog, we are thrilled to provide you with a resource for all things camelid.

Tagged in: Alpaca Camel Llama
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  • Lorrie Williamson
    Lorrie Williamson says #
    Love your concept and courage to pursue a new and exciting venture! Well done!

By Polly Mosendz on April 11, 2015

Tagged in: Camel Camelid
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Alaska Dispatch News

Raul doesn’t appeared to be bothered by unfamiliar company. His white ears twitch when cars drive by his Eagle River home, but he never stops chewing on little bits of his food -- except when his owner saddles him up with about 70 pounds of gear for an Alaska expedition.

For the last 31 years, Phil Nuechterlein and his wife have been leading pack llamas through Alaska’s state and national parks. Phil said they’ve been to Denali National Park and Preserve, up the Dalton Highway to Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve and have traveled extensively through Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve.

But recently, that lifestyle was in jeopardy.

In January, the National Park Service proposed a ban on domesticated sheep, goats, alpacas and llamas in Alaska's national parks after someone tried to take a pet goat into Denali National Park’s Savage Alpine Trail, an area utilized by Dall sheep, according to Denali National Park and Preserve public affairs officer Kris Fister. Biologists fear domesticated animals could transmit new diseases to the wild animals. 

“There is definitive documentation of the transmission of diseases from domestic sheep (and) goats to their wild kin,” Fister said.

But in a Park Service compendium published in mid-March, officials wrote the transmission of disease from a llamas or alpacas to wild sheep or mountain goats has not been documented, and the likelihood is “probably low, although still possible.”

National Park Service regional communications officer John Quinley said the agency doesn’t have a “hard number” on the amount of pack animals traveling through national parks, but it estimates “very few.”

Tagged in: Camelid Llama
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  • Llama Linda
    Llama Linda says #
    It was the outpouring of letters from llama owners all over the states that got the ruling changed. The people who were trying to

Posted by on in Camelid

Original Study by Washington University in ST. Louis. Posted by Julia Evangelou Strait-WUSTL on February 19, 2015

Antibodies from camels and alpacas can bring anticancer viruses straight to tumor cells, while leaving other types of cells uninfected, report researchers.

The researchers used human cells grown in the lab for the study. They say it demonstrates the possibility of directly delivering genetically engineered viruses to specific cells. The goal is to infect only cancer cells and then trigger the virus to replicate until the cells burst, killing them and releasing more of the targeted viruses.

The scientists showed that unlike human antibodies or those of most other animals, the antibodies of camels and alpacas survive the harsh environment inside cells and retain the ability to seek out targets, potentially solving a longstanding problem in the field of gene therapy.

“For decades, investigators have been putting human or mouse antibodies on viruses, and they haven’t worked—the antibodies would lose their targeting ability,” says senior author David T. Curiel, professor of radiation oncology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

“It was a technical problem. During replication, the virus is made in one part of the cell, and the antibody is made in another. To incorporate the two, the antibody is dragged through the internal fluid of the cell. This is a harsh environment for the antibodies, so they unfold and lose their targeting ability.”Thanks for landing on our Camelid Central blog page! This is our inaugural blog post and we are thrilled to provide you with a resource for all things camelid. We are fascinated by camelids and we hope to fulfill your Camelid needs whether it be for business or pleasure.

Tagged in: Camelid
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  • Sandra Wallace, M.D.
    Sandra Wallace, M.D. says #
    I have always hoped that research linking chemotherapy pro-drugs to Camelid nanobodies/antibodies would be successful in deliverin
  • Alaine Byers
    Alaine Byers says #
    and Llama antibodies!!

Posted by on in Camelid

Thanks for landing on our Camelid Central blog page! This is our inaugural blog post and we are thrilled to provide you with a resource for all things camelid. We are fascinated by camelids and we hope to fulfill your Camelid needs whether it be for business or pleasure.

Tagged in: Camelid
Hits: 1325
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  • L'illette Vasquez
    L'illette Vasquez says #
    Suggestion for blog topic: camelid rescue!
  • Llama Linda
    Llama Linda says #
    So tell us who you are. What do you own and what do you do with them? Are you into fiber. Give us the background.
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