CURRENT SITUATION & CHALLENGES
The last hundred years has seen addax population plummet due to merciless hunting and the advent of modern weapons and desert-going vehicles. Today, the addax can only be found in two small populations, one in the Tin Toumma desert of eastern Niger and the other, across the border, in Chad’s Eguey-Bodélé region.
Currently, it is not possible to ensure the survival of wild addax in Niger and in the border with Chad because of insecurity and logistics constraint due to huge and remote addax distribution areas.
Addax can also be found in their historical range in semi-captive conditions in Tunisia and Morocco.
TAKING ACTION ON THE GROUND
An action plan for the remaining wild populations of addax in Niger and Chad, has been drafted by SCF, ZSL, IUCN/SSC Antelope Specialist Group, CMS, Noé, Niger and Chadian national agencies. It highlights three main priorities to save this species:
- Prevent the loss of more animals from the wild by ensuring effective protection from poaching at key sites and also extending protection to habitat, notably by establishing undisturbed zones away from water wells and livestock.
- Keep strong and effective links with the populations on site. Working with local communities who share the habitat and use the same pastures is essential to long-term success of conservation programs. Several agreements in Niger have been signed by the traditional local and administrative authorities, including the Déclaration de Dolé (2007), Déclaration de Dougoulé (2010). The Doungoumi Declaration (December 2016) even contains a commitment to protect wildlife and includes collaboration on removal of unauthorized wells: this agreement could serve as a model for elsewhere in the region.
- Establishing the fate of the largest addax population in Termit & Tin Toumma – whether it has been dispersed or greatly reduced, and locating remaining animals - is an urgent priority, as is establishing the extent and frequency of movement between sites. Monitoring programmes for populations of addax (and dama gazelle) should be continued and expanded where feasible, using standardised protocols. It is also important to expand the current genetic research on the wild and captive populations of both species.