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Recent Humanitarian Missions

The Sahara Conservation Fund, in collaboration with the non-profits ESAFRO and L’Afrique à Cœur, participates in supporting local populations within the Aïr and Ténéré National Natural Reserve through health missions. Health- and dental-care missions have been carried out in the towns of Timia and Iferouane with products and dental materials donated by all three organizations. […]

Dama Gazelles in Niger’s Aïr

Mount Takoulkouzet is located in the Aïr and Ténéré National Nature Reserve (ATNNR). The reserve shelters several emblematic wildlife species including the dama gazelle (Nanger dama), which is one of the most endangered antelopes on the planet. Since 2017, a project has been funded by the African World Heritage Fund (AWHF) and the NGO Sahara […]

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 [...]

POROA: Developments & Progress Report

The Ouadi Rimé-Ouadi Achim Project (POROA) has been run by SCF in collaboration with the government of Chad since late 2018. Co-funded by the European Union, the project aims to improve management of the Ouadi Rimé-Ouadi Achim wildlife reserve and its biodiversity through an inclusive and transversal approach. POROA is part of a broader program [...]

Achieving Sound Conservation

I knew before accepting the position that succeeding John Newby as the CEO of the Sahara Conservation Fund (SCF) would involve filling some very large shoes. This was not a decision I took lightly. I had previously met John 25 years ago when I was just starting out in conservation, working as an intern at […]


With spring 2019 already underway, the Sahara Conservation Fund (SCF) continues to make steady progress in its projects and towards its annual goals. While a recent field mission brought 25 new Scimitar-horned oryx to the reintroduction program site in Chad, the Sahara Conservation Fund’s Niger staff helped install new facilities in Kellé on the site […]

Threats To Egyptian Vultures

The Egyptian Vulture is facing an important decline worldwide, and the Balkans have not been spared: from the hundreds of pairs historically present in the peninsula, about 70 pairs only are remaining, the population being victim of a 7% decline yearly for the past 30 years. This rapid decline is hard to prevent as it […]

Introducing John Watkin As SCF New CEO

SCF is pleased to announce the appointment of John Watkin as new CEO, replacing John Newby who will continue to serve as Senior Advisor to the organization. It is anticipated that John Watkin will officially begin work on August 1, providing sufficient time to complete an orderly handover.  John Watkin is a highly experienced conservationist who has been working in […]

Egyptian Vulture Conservation: Latest Field Activities

Vultures face many threats which vary a lot depending on their location, ranging from electrocution to poaching. As part of the Egyptian Vultures NEW LIFE project, SCF conducted a survey to understand the threats faced by the birds in Niger. Poaching had already been reported in the country, which encouraged the team to first focus […]

News From The 8 Recently Translocated West African Giraffes In Niger

8 West African giraffes (3 males and 5 females) ( Giraffa camelopardalis peralta ) were recently circulated from their area of ​​Kouré 60 km south-east of Niamey, to the Gadabedji Biosphere Reserve more than 800 km away. As part of Niger’s national West African giraffe conservation strategy, the aim of this operation is to provide […]

Four Dama Gazelles Recently Observed In Niger

The National Nature Reserve of Aïr and Ténéré in Niger is home to some iconic animal species – among which the dama gazelle (Nanger dama), one of the most endangered antelopes on the planet. Due to human activity in the valleys – the dama gazelle has found refuge on the mountain Takoloukouzet, which is located […]

North African Ostrich Recovery Project: Setting Up New Facilities

In partnership with the Wildlife Conservation Network (WCN), Kellé, Niger, created by SCF a few years ago. SCF’s ambitious goal to reintroduce the species into the wild. The recent installation of a solar-powered hatchery and incubation unit is now allowing the organization to get closer to this goal.  The containers have been successfully brought from […]

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 […]

Threats To Egyptian Vultures

The Egyptian Vulture is facing an important decline worldwide, and the Balkans have not been spared: from the hundreds of pairs historically present in the peninsula, about 70 pairs only are remaining, the population being victim of a 7% decline yearly for the past 30 years. This rapid decline is hard to prevent as it […]

SCF Officially Partners With Morocco To Improve Management Of Endangered Mammals Source Populations

After having been invited to Morocco to visit key sites for the conservation of some of the most endangered Sahelo-Saharan species during the spring of 2018, SCF is very happy to announce the signature of a new collaborative agreement with the Moroccan wildlife authorities.  SCF and Morocco’s High Commission for Water and Forests and the Combat […]

Challenges Of Sahelo-Saharan Antelope Reintroductions: Depletion In The Wild Vs Abundance In Captivity

The conservation community is facing a paradox related to the difficulties of reintroducing and/or reinforcing some species which are declining and disappearing in the wild while the number of individuals keeps increasing in captivity and overpopulation is becoming an issue, e.g.: Scimitar-horned Oryx and addax in zoos and private collections. Based on the IUCN guidelines […]

New Observations Of Dama Gazelles In The Wild

The Takolokouzet Massif is located in the Aïr & Ténéré National Nature Reserve in Niger. It is home to some iconic species, including the Barbary sheep and the dama gazelle, one of the most endangered antelopes on the planet. It is on Takolokouzet’s plateaus that the reserve’s last dama gazelles find refuge from disturbance and […]

Metamorphosis – Change In The Air At SCF

After 15 years at the helm of the Sahara Conservation Fund, John Newby, the organization’s founding CEO, will be stepping down in 2019 to take on a new role as Senior Adviser. With the organization at a critical point in its growth and development, and a brand-new strategic plan under its belt, John and the SCF […]

Happy World Giraffe Day!

In May 2018, the Sahara Conservation Fund was at the Giraffe Conservation Science Symposium, which took place at the SCBI campus in Front Royal, Virginia, USA. This first-ever giraffe conservation science-related event was a new initiative of our partner the Giraffe Conservation Foundation. Indeed, SCF has joined forces with GCF to save the last remaining population of West African Giraffe that lives in the […]

Ostriches In North-Eastern Ennedi, Chad!

Many thanks to Yves Gauthier for sharing this news with us. A French Researcher and Rock art expert, he tells how he observed, together with his team and thanks to the guide Idris Barkai, unexpected ostrich tracks in Northern Chad. (A French version can be found at the end of this article with his email address in case you want to discuss […]

Antelope Conservation: Exporting Experience From Tunisia Across The Sahara

Many thanks to Marie Petretto, Tania Gilbert, and Philip Riordan for this article giving a useful overview on the experience of Marwell Wildlife, SCF long-time partner, with antelope conservation in Tunisia and in the Sahara. Once abundant and widespread Saharan antelopes, such as scimitar-horned oryx (Oryx dammah) and addax (Addax nasomaculatus) have dwindled towards extinction […]

Plastic Pollution In Niger: An Alarming Snapshot

It is an alarming scene the Sahara Conservation Fund observed, again, during its field work in Niger: plastic pollution is spoiling landscapes and seriously endangering wildlife. The ingestion of plastic by animals can indeed kill them. Non-biodegradable plastic bags are used everywhere Niger markets. In the cities, the authorities use staff to reduce pollution a little, even if many […]

A Passion For Algerian Wildlife – Interview With Photographer Redouane Tahri

The Sahara Conservation Fund has been working to safeguard biodiversity in the Sahara and Sahel since the early 2000s. The flora and fauna found in this vast region are far more abundant and diverse than most people think, including biologists and other conservationists. This lack of awareness has contributed to the decline in its plants and animals. SCF […]

Another 75 Scimitar-Horned Oryx Released In Chad

February 2018: New Oryx Release 75 new scimitar-horned oryx have been flown from Abu Dhabi to Chad on Mid-February, as part of the Chad oryx reintroduction project. As with each release, the animals are given some time to get used to their new environment ; they will remain in the pre-release pen for a few months. On the […]

Monitoring Dama Gazelles In Northern Niger

The dama gazelle (Nanger dama) is one of the most endangered antelopes in the world with a population estimated at less than 300 individuals scattered across a handful of small isolated groups in Chad, Niger, and possibly Mali (RZSS & IUCN, 2014). This species is in the IUCN Red List as Critically Endangered (IUCN 2016), […]

Tribute To Heiner Engel, Our Dear Colleague And Friend

SCF was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of a dear colleague and friend, Dr. Heiner Engel.  Heiner was a dedicated and passionate champion for wildlife.  As both a founding member of the Sahelo-Saharan Interest Group (SSIG) and a founding board member of Sahara Conservation Fund (SCF), Heiner was instrumental in helping to launch […]

Moroccan Mammals: Release Of A New Atlas!

A new atlas  has been published by the French Researchers in Zoology, Biology, and Ecology, Stéphane Aulagnier, Fabrice Cuzin, and Michel Thévenot. Their co-authors are Abdellatif Bayed, Bouchra Bougariane, Denis Geraads, Alain Rodrigue, Emmanuelle Stoetzel, Dominique Barreau, and Alain Rocher.  SCF would like to recommend this book which is an important work in the field, providing crucial updates and a lot of new information.  It is only available […]

Niger, Sahel: The End Of The Migration Route For An Egyptian Vulture From Bulgaria

At the beginning of October, the management unit of Gadabeji Game Reserve (GGR) has been supported by the Sahara Conservation Fund and the project Niger Fauna Corridor to carry out a mission in the vicinity of the reserve to collect information about a tagged captive bred Egyptian vulture released in Bulgaria. The Sahel and Sahara is on the […]

Chad Oryx Reintroduction Project: They Are In Great Shape!

In August 2017 was the third release lead in Chad with the valued support of the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, and the Government of Chad.  As a reminder, the objective of this reintroduction project is to build up a viable population of at least 500 animals, and hopefully confirm over the years the return of the scimitar-horned […]

Developing A Regional Action Plan For Addax And Dama Gazelle

Addax and dama gazelle were formerly distributed widely across the Sahara and Sahel. A catastrophic decline has taken place, especially during the last 40 years, that has brought both species close to extinction in the wild.  Wild populations of addax and dama gazelle are now limited to a tiny number of small fragments of their […]

Strengthening Collaborations For The Recovery Of North African Ostrich

The Sahara Conservation Fund (SCF) is implementing a national and international action plan within the framework of the North African Ostrich (Struthio camelus camelus) Recovery project. The success of this initiative relies on the support and involvement of various stakeholders. At the end of 2016, SCF met with the Nigerien authorities and private holders, followed […]

17th Sahelo-Saharan Interest Group Meeting In May 2017

The Sahara Conservation Fund (SCF) gathers together every year about a hundred people who are interested in the Sahelo-Saharan species conservation. A wide variety of partners, scientists, and experts, from different countries, are involved. Protecting this rich biodiversity, which is still poorly documented and overlooked in other places on earth, is the main theme of […]

SCF Oryx Project Receives Strong Presidential Support

As SCF’s logo, the oryx represents the threats that face desert wildlife but also the hope that one day this magnificent animal will once again roam free on African soil. This once abundant species of antelope occupied the vast, dry, sub-Saharan grasslands but fell prey over time to a lethal combination of overhunting, drought and […]

Please Help Us Feed A Hungry Friend

You will no doubt have heard the Sahel region of Africa has yet again been hit with erratic and inadequate rainfall. This has led to failed harvests and poorly developed grazing. An estimated 13 million people are affected with over 6 million of these in Niger alone. Here, food shortages are estimated to be in […]

Please Fasten Your Safety Belts

It will not have escaped anyone’s attention that North Africa is going through significant turmoil at the moment. Turbulence that often dramatically upsets society and which also impacts heavily on our ability to carry out our conservation mission. I was recently asked whether we would be abandoning projects as a result of the unrest. “No […]

Black Gold Or White

In the fall of 2008, Niger began drilling for oil in the Tin Toumma desert to the east of the country. Tin Toumma is where SCF and its partners are working to set up a vast new national nature reserve. It is also home to the world’s last viable population of addax. Will the search […]

A New Perspective On The Sahara

What I love about deserts is their uncluttered perfection. When the sand and dust have settled you can generally see what’s going on. The Sahara is one of those magical places where life in all its incredible diversity looks out unimpeded on the infinity of space. Ten million square kilometres of what some would have […]

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