News from the field in Morocco
SCF recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Morocco to provide technical assistance as part of the national efforts to conserve key species of the Sahara. Fieldwork has begun and is already leading to some interesting observations.
A recent field mission was conducted by Moroccan wildlife authorities as part of its national ungulate conservation strategy. From March 4 to 10, SCF was invited to visit 5 different sites in Southern Morocco and assess their potential suitability for further conservation activities. Recommendations on each visited site were provided by SCF Regional Program Officer Thomas Rabeil, including one site which is particularly appropriate for potential dama gazelle reintroduction.
Located in Assa’s province, the site identified to set up a large pen of 600 hectares is comparable to the most suitable wadis of Termit and Tin Toumma National Nature Reserve in Niger, where a few dozens of dama gazelles still live in the wild. Its hosts a high diversity of plant species known to be part of the Saharan antelope’s diet - and has a particular topography which offers refuge areas for the gazelles to hide and avoid predators.
Experts will soon discuss further a number of questions related to the reintroduction of dama gazelles into the wild during the upcoming annual Meeting for the Sahel and Sahara Conservation (April 30-May 2 in Tunis, Tunisia).
Photos © Thomas Rabeil