The Scimitar-horned Oryx Reintroduction Program is the fruit of a meticulous process of research, planning and consultation. Under the leadership of EAD and Sahara Conservation, a major stakeholder meeting was held in Chad in 2012, followed by program and budget planning at EAD in Abu Dhabi later the same year.
After feasibility studies were carried out by EAD, Sahara Conservation and ZSL in 2013, it was decided to focus the project on Chad’s Ouadi Rimé-Ouadi Achim Game Reserve, a vast protected area set up in the 1960s specifically for the conservation of oryx and other desert species. This 93,687 km² protected area is one of the largest in the world and harbours some of the last remaining viable populations of dama and dorcas gazelles.
With the signing of project agreements between EAD and the Government of Chad, and EAD and Sahara Conservation in 2014, work began on building a basecamp and pre-release pens in the reserve, and the selection of oryx from the nascent World Herd in Abu Dhabi for transport to Chad