Desert Channels Queensland might be the only natural resource management group in Australia that owns a herd of camels.
The group's operations manager Simon Wiggins said it was a very new experience for them but one they wanted to take on to answer a number of questions, such as quantifying how much grass they ate.
They are questions being asked by landholders who are trialling the benefits of running camels in paddocks infested with prickle bush, but wanting to understand the impacts as well.
"We've also been asked to provide advice on how they work with cattle at different densities," Mr Wiggins said.
Since the trial began on land north of Stamford last May, DCQ has discovered the camels eat 4.5kg of grass a day and that 10-20 per cent of their diet has to be grass, or more at different times of the year.
As far as containing prickly acacia goes, DCQ staff estimate one camel eats about 360 flowers a day.
"Each flower equals about 10 seeds, so that's 360,000 flowers not producing in a good season, and given strike rates, about 43,000 plants that won't germinate," Mr Wiggins said.
"The cost of treating that number of plants with tebuthiron is $7700.
"If the maths is right, it makes sense that you'd have camels poking around."
The sums were backed up from sites at Nuken and Ayrshire Downs north of Winton, where they were not seeing a lot of germinating plants in paddocks with camels.
ALSO READ: Online sale camels race to new homes
DCQ has found that camels don't like buffel grass, or Mitchell grass when there are forbs to eat, and that they haven't had a negative impact on Mitchell grass plants.
While they're not killing mature trees, they are squashing the canopy back in by about 20pc.
"We wouldn't discount their impact," Mr Wiggins said. "We see them as part of the solution, and feel they could be a really good precursor to chemical treatment."
There are plans for the camels to be given an ear tag, so that their paddock movements and habits can be tracked.
ALSO MAKING NEWS:
Want daily news highlights delivered to your inbox? Sign up to the Queensland Country Life newsletter below.
Based at Blackall, CW Qld, where I've raised a family, run Merino sheep and beef cattle, and helped develop a region - its history, tourism, education and communications.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.