North African Ostrich Workshop in Chad
The North African ostrich (Struthio camelus camelus) is the biggest and one of the rarest birds on the planet. With the exception of a few small savanna populations in Chad, Sudan and Uganda, the North African ostrich has completely disappeared from its previously vast Sahelo-Saharan range. Since its inception in 2004, SCF has been keen to see the ostrich restored to the wild. Efforts are underway in Niger to breed pure-bred ostriches for release into secure areas.
In Chad, SCF hopes shortly to reintroduce the ostrich to the Ouadi Rimé-Ouadi Achim Wildlife Reserve using birds captured from wild savanna populations. As a prerequisite to operations, as in Niger, we are spearheading the development of a national ostrich conservation strategy. This will bring together all interested parties to ensure synergy and cooperation. An initial workshop has just been held in Chad’s capital city, N’Djaména. Facilitated by SCF and organized by the EU-funded Projet Ouadi Rimé-Ouadi Achim (POROA), some thirty participants came together to share knowledge and experience, and to discuss possible ways forward. Actions planned for Ouadi Rimé-Ouadi Achim and the neighbouring Ennedi were endorsed and work is now underway to prepare for the capture of young ostriches and their safe transport to pre-release facilities.
Thanks to the presence and contributions from knowledgeable people across the country, a great deal of information was gathered on the current status of the ostrich in Chad and the threats they face. By pooling knowledge and resources, it is hoped that ostrich conservation will prosper and the battle to regain lost ground begin in earnest.