Aerial survey of the Ouadi Rimé-Ouadi Achim Game Reserve
An aerial survey of the Ouadi Rimé-Ouadi Achim Game Reserve (OROAGR), originally planned by the Project Ouadi Rimé-Ouadi Achim (POROA) for 2020, but delayed by covid impact, was conducted last November. The objective was to provide updated information on the numbers and distribution of wildlife and livestock and record other environmental elements such as human activity and fire impact in the core of the reserve. The results are used to provide recommendations on the management planning needs for the reserve and to assess monitoring and patrol requirements, to contribute to the successful integration of wildlife conservation objectives and other land use activities across the OROAGR.
This first aerial survey has produced valuable insight into the general numbers and distribution of livestock and key wildlife species.
The direct sighting of over 200 oryx in a limited sample of the area is a notably positive result for a species still classified as Extinct in the Wild. The method also vividly illustrates the spatial interactions between wildlife, livestock and ecological processes affecting the conservation initiatives of the reserve, notably conversion of grassland to seasonal agriculture, human settlement, very high livestock numbers and huge bush fires. Agricultural activity in the southern margins of the survey area is by far the most extensive observed since the oryx reintroduction began.
The primary target wildlife species for aerial survey were dorcas gazelles, dama gazelles, and reintroduced scimitar-horned oryx. Re-introduced Addax and Ostriches were also searched for, but we could only spot 2 male ostriches together. None of the 75 or so addax known to be present were detected.