Presentation on theme: "Wildlife Without Borders:"— Presentation transcript:
1Wildlife Without Borders: Conserving the Sahelo-Saharan Antelopes of North AfricaSmithsonian has been involved with Saharan antelopes work for more than 10 years, and works closely with the Sahara Conservation Fund (SCF). Dr. Steven Monfort, Associate Director for Conservation & Science at the Smithsonian National Zoo is the President of SCF.My name is Pierre Comizzoli and I work with Steve on that project. I an here to give the talk on his behalf.
2The Sahara - World’s biggest desert 3 million square miles Bigger than Australia11 times the size of Texas- Bordered by the Sahel- Shared by 14 countriesLess than 5” rainfallNot a barren wasteland!- Great habitat diversity- Many threatened species
6Threats to Wildlife Prolonged drought Desertification and loss of pastureHabitat encroachmentOver-huntingChronic lack of resources for conservationLack of awareness/interest in aridlandsThreats to the wildlife of the Sahara are numerous – both natural and man-made. Tourism vs Ecotourism
7Going… Large species in big trouble Large species are in big troubleLarge species in big troubleAddax: critically endangered <300 in the wildDama gazelle: critically endangered <500 in the wildDorcas gazelle: locally extinct in many places7
8going… Other species too Ostrich: desert race virtually extinct Cheetah: desert race extremely rareBarbary Sheep: isolated and highly vulnerable8
9gone! Oryx is the largest mammal extinct in the past 30 years Last photo of oryx in the wild taken in Niger in 1980Last oryx late-80s or early 90sZoos and private collections are the last hopeProjects in Tunisia, Senegal, Morocco9
10First Action Plan by CMS Conference of the Parties in 1998 (Djerba)First CMS initiative focused on terrestrial mammals -- six antelopes14 Sahelo-Saharan range statesAt the Conference of the parties in 1998 (Djerba), first action plan on SS antelopes was developed at that time, partnerships with EU, FFEM, SCF
11Sahara Conservation Fund - 1998: Like-minded individuals who attended the Djerba Conference formed the Sahelo-Saharan Interest Group (SSIG)- 2004: SCF is the formal structure (not for profit organization) based in Switzerland (John Newby, CEO; Steve Monfort, President)SCF’s mission: To conserve wildlife and key habitats in partnership with stake-holders from all sectors of societySSIG was born in 1998 and formalized into SCF (CEO is John Newby, Switzerland)SSIG is a group of experts but SCF is the formal structure (not for profit organization).
12First SCF-Sponsored Wildlife Surveys Science-based approaches to conservation- Assess current status-threats (wildlife, habitat quality, land-use)Assist governments and agenciesMobilize support for the CMS Action PlanIdentify solutions and actionsCoordinate with local playersFirst question was: what is going on in those areas, what is the status?Megatransect (wildlife survey, habitat quality, land-use pattern) in Chad (2001) and Niger (2002)20022001
13SCF Database Since 2001: Situation is Critical! SPECIESIUCN RED DATA LIST (2006)SCF COMMENTS & OBSERVATIONS*Scimitar-horned OryxExtinct in the wildLast known animals in the 1990s (Chad, Niger)AddaxCritically EndangeredLess than 300 in 1-2 populations (Niger, Chad)Dama GazelleLess than 300 in 3-4 isolated populations (Niger, Chad, Mali)Slender-horned GazelleEndangeredLimited to the sand seas of North Africa. Status unknown.Cuvier’s GazelleVulnerableLimited to North African uplands. Status poorly known.Dorcas GazelleHighly threatened throughout by uncontrolled hunting.CheetahSaharan populations extremely rare and endangered.Striped HyenaLower RiskSahelo-Saharan populations highly endangered by persecution.FennecData DeficientSahelo-Saharan populations appear satisfactory.Pale FoxSahelian populations extremely vulnerable to poisoning.Rüppell’s FoxResearch required to assess status.OstrichLeast ConcernSahelo-Saharan populations virtually extinct in the wild.Lappet-faced VultureNaturally sparse. Threatened by persecution.Nubian BustardNear ThreatenedImpact of intensive hunting unknown and needing research.Sudan BustardSahelian populations highly vulnerable from over-hunting.Spurred TortoiseVery few known healthy Sahelian populations.SCF data suggest that situation is even worse (reliable and accurate science-based information)
14When Data Compiled: Priority Countries When taking into account the number of highly endangered species, 4 countries with highest priority.Scale: 0 (least) to 3 (most)
15Conference of the Parties in Agadir: What do stakeholders want? 2003Conference of the Parties in Agadir:What do stakeholders want?Priorities:Training—Capacity Building (e.g., husbandry training EAZA/AZA, ranger training etc.)Ex situ captive breeding programsReintroductionsSustainable hunting!Field surveys and monitoringTrans-boundary park formationWhen SSIG (as a scientific unit) went back to the second conference of the parties, they ask the question:Answers helped the SCF to shape his priorities
16Obstacles to Cooperation - Transboundary conflict- Civil unrest – tribal conflictNationalism- Chronic lack of funding and international supportInsufficient incentives for cooperationGeneral lack of interest in aridlands- Insufficient management expertiseConflict Chad/Sudan, Algeria who wants to do everything by herself, Lybia is closed.
17Before TB parks SCF Priority Conservation Sites Even before thinking of TB approach, SCF defined priority conservation sites (needs to become official protected areas)
18Chad/Niger: Last Sites for Key Species More specifically, priority within each site.Niger and Chad are the ‘last hopes’
19SCF Vision: Addax Without Borders Obviously, TB is a long-term objective, but there is still a lot to do on a local standpoint
20Evidence of Addax Crossing the Border We now that animal are crossing the border, so it would make sense
21Priority: Addax Project (Niger-Chad) Saving the world’s last addaxCreating vast new protected areasApplying science & research to managementCommunity-based action, management and custodianshipTherefore, the addax project is a priority
22Termit – Tin Toumma Protected Area Focal Area in NigerTermit – Tin Toumma Protected AreaBest remaining refuge for Saharan wildlifeAddax, dama gazelle, cheetah, Barbary sheepEstablishment of protected areaWildlife inventory and ecological monitoringIn Niger, the focal area is Termi – Tin Touma, SCF works with government to establish protected area.Maurice AscaniFrancoise ClaroDesert cheetah25-50% of the animals left on earth!
23Termit/Tin Toumma Project Overall 2-yr Budget ~$500,00059%41%This is a good example of partnership. SCF really grateful to CMS (funds from FFEM)An SCF – CMS Partnership
24Role of Zoos & Private Collections - Captive-breeding & reintroduction- Science & researchHusbandry & veterinary careTraining & capacity building- Awareness & educationVital insurance policyWithout zoos and private collectors some species would clearly go extinct.Gulf States have huge private collections that can be used for reinforce wild populations*huge opportunity for “win-win” partnerships with private collections in Gulf States
25SCF Reintroduction Projects Partnership with CMS, North-American and European ZoosExpensive & complex (meta-population management strategies)Pilot projects with addax & scimitar-horned oryx ongoing in Tunisia and MoroccoSCF, working with many partners, including CMS and the North American and European Zoo communities,Taining and direction/strategy in how to link populations – through meta-population management strategies – and creating corridors that can eventually be linked when fences are taken down (i.e., all reintroduced animals to date reside in fenced reserves), but one day that will change.
26Foreign Hunting Parties - SCF is not anti-huntingGazelles & bustards hardest hitSustainability is keyLegality and ethicsCorruption is rifeLack of management- Quotas & control needed- Sustainable models possibleBy government or military forces
27Recent ActivitiesAlgeria wildlife surveys 2006: cheetah (confirmed presence) and small gazellesMission to Chad 2006: only 9 addax, but Ouadi Rimé-Ouadi Achim Game Reserve still holds what most abundant population of dorcas gazelles left in the wildAerial Survey in Mali 2005: 6,552 km² of the South Tamesna. only 3 dama gazelles spotted, along with several dozens of dorcas gazellesTunisia reintroductionIn terms of recent activties
28Recent survey: Algeria (March 2007) Distribution of slender-horned gazelles far East to WestDorcas gazelles present everywhere (but number of individuals has decreased in 20 years)Training in survey/monitoring techniquesERG OCCIDENTALERG ERRAOUI
29Annual SSIG Meeting Conservation and Science Forum Information Sharing Hannover Zoo, Germany -- May 31 – JunConservation and science forum, and an opportunity for information sharing and collaboration.
30Partnership is the Key!THANK YOU CMS…support for conservation is derived from stakeholders across all sectors of society