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Wildlife Without Borders: Conserving the Sahelo-Saharan Antelopes of North Africa.

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Presentation on theme: "Wildlife Without Borders: Conserving the Sahelo-Saharan Antelopes of North Africa."— Presentation transcript:

1 Wildlife Without Borders: Conserving the Sahelo-Saharan Antelopes of North Africa

2 The Sahara - Worlds biggest desert 3 million square miles Bigger than Australia 11 times the size of Texas - Bordered by the Sahel - Shared by 14 countries Less than 5 rainfall Not a barren wasteland! - Great habitat diversity - Many threatened species

3 A Barren Wilderness?

4 Habitat Diversity Acacia trees Steppes Grasslands Sand seas

5 Water and Mountains Gueltas Oasis

6 Prolonged drought Desertification and loss of pasture Habitat encroachment Over-hunting Chronic lack of resources for conservation Lack of awareness/interest in aridlands Threats to Wildlife

7 Going… Large species in big trouble Addax: critically endangered <300 in the wild Dama gazelle: critically endangered <500 in the wild Dorcas gazelle: locally extinct in many places

8 going… Other species too Ostrich: desert race virtually extinct Cheetah: desert race extremely rare Barbary Sheep: isolated and highly vulnerable

9 gone! Oryx is the largest mammal extinct in the past 30 years Last photo of oryx in the wild taken in Niger in 1980 Last oryx late-80s or early 90s Zoos and private collections are the last hope Projects in Tunisia, Senegal, Morocco

10 First Action Plan by CMS Conference of the Parties in 1998 (Djerba) First CMS initiative focused on terrestrial mammals -- six antelopes 14 Sahelo-Saharan range states

11 - 1998: Like-minded individuals who attended the Djerba Conference formed the Sahelo- Saharan Interest Group (SSIG) : SCF is the formal structure (not for profit organization) based in Switzerland (John Newby, CEO; Steve Monfort, President) SCFs mission: To conserve wildlife and key habitats in partnership with stake-holders from all sectors of society Sahara Conservation Fund

12 First SCF-Sponsored Wildlife Surveys Science-based approaches to conservation - Assess current status-threats (wildlife, habitat quality, land-use) Assist governments and agencies Mobilize support for the CMS Action Plan Identify solutions and actions Coordinate with local players

13 SCF 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 GazelleCritically EndangeredLess than 300 in 3-4 isolated populations (Niger, Chad, Mali) Slender-horned Gazelle EndangeredLimited to the sand seas of North Africa. Status unknown. Cuvier s Gazelle VulnerableLimited to North African uplands. Status poorly known. Dorcas GazelleVulnerableHighly threatened throughout by uncontrolled hunting. CheetahVulnerableSaharan populations extremely rare and endangered. Striped HyenaLower RiskSahelo-Saharan populations highly endangered by persecution. FennecData DeficientSahelo-Saharan populations appear satisfactory. Pale FoxData DeficientSahelian populations extremely vulnerable to poisoning. R ü ppell s Fox Data DeficientResearch required to assess status. OstrichLeast ConcernSahelo-Saharan populations virtually extinct in the wild. Lappet-faced VultureVulnerableNaturally sparse. Threatened by persecution. Nubian BustardNear ThreatenedImpact of intensive hunting unknown and needing research. Sudan BustardLeast ConcernSahelian populations highly vulnerable from over-hunting. Spurred TortoiseVulnerableVery few known healthy Sahelian populations.

14 When Data Compiled: Priority Countries Scale: 0 (least) to 3 (most)

15 2003 Conference of the Parties in Agadir: What do stakeholders want? Priorities: TrainingCapacity Building (e.g., husbandry training EAZA/AZA, ranger training etc.) Ex situ captive breeding programs Reintroductions Sustainable hunting! Field surveys and monitoring Trans-boundary park formation

16 Obstacles to Cooperation - Transboundary conflict - Civil unrest – tribal conflict Nationalism - Chronic lack of funding and international support Insufficient incentives for cooperation General lack of interest in aridlands - Insufficient management expertise

17 Before TB parks SCF Priority Conservation Sites

18 Chad/Niger: Last Sites for Key Species

19 SCF Vision: Addax Without Borders

20 Evidence of Addax Crossing the Border

21 Priority: Addax Project (Niger-Chad) Saving the worlds last addax Creating vast new protected areas Applying science & research to management Community-based action, management and custodianship

22 Focal Area in Niger Termit – Tin Toumma Protected Area 25-50% of the animals left on earth! Maurice Ascani Best remaining refuge for Saharan wildlife Addax, dama gazelle, cheetah, Barbary sheep Establishment of protected area Wildlife inventory and ecological monitoring Francoise Claro Desert cheetah

23 Termit/Tin Toumma Project 41%59% Overall 2-yr Budget ~$500,000 An SCF – CMS Partnership

24 Role of Zoos & Private Collections - Captive-breeding & reintroduction - Science & research Husbandry & veterinary care Training & capacity building - Awareness & education Vital insurance policy *huge opportunity for win-win partnerships with private collections in Gulf States

25 SCF Reintroduction Projects Partnership with CMS, North-American and European Zoos Expensive & complex (meta-population management strategies) Pilot projects with addax & scimitar-horned oryx ongoing in Tunisia and Morocco

26 Foreign Hunting Parties - SCF is not anti-hunting Gazelles & bustards hardest hit Sustainability is key Legality and ethics Corruption is rife Lack of management - Quotas & control needed - Sustainable models possible

27 Recent Activities Algeria wildlife surveys 2006: cheetah (confirmed presence) and small gazelles Mission 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 wild Aerial Survey in Mali 2005: 6,552 km² of the South Tamesna. only 3 dama gazelles spotted, along with several dozens of dorcas gazelles Tunisia reintroduction

28 ERG OCCIDENTAL ERG ERRAOUI Recent survey: Algeria (March 2007) Distribution of slender-horned gazelles far East to West Dorcas gazelles present everywhere (but number of individuals has decreased in 20 years) Training in survey/monitoring techniques

29 Annual SSIG Meeting Conservation and Science Forum Information Sharing Hannover Zoo, Germany -- May 31 – Jun

30 Partnership is the Key! …support for conservation is derived from stakeholders across all sectors of society

31 Getting Deserts on the Map!

32 Thanks for listening!

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