Camelids are managed under transhumant systems that support the poorest populations in marginalized desert and semidesert regions and highland steppes. The utilization and development of camelids could potentially enhance their livelihood and prevent human migration into already overcrowded villages and towns.
Currently, breed names of camelids take after the ethnic group keeping them or the geographic regions where they are found. Therefore, little is known about genetic differences between these different groups or within any type of camelids.[2,5,10] Modern technologies to improve reproductive efficiency and economic traits in camelids have been tried but not extensively used in the field.
There are huge variations in body conformation and milk production in the Old World camelids (Table 2). Some dromedary breeds likely have high potential for milk production. Llamas and alpacas have been introduced into North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand for the primary purpose of fiber production under well-controlled breeding schemes and management systems. It is expected that experience and knowledge gained from these small herds may be applied to the genetic improvement of South American camelids in their home countries.
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