The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) continues to progress with the world’s largest mammal reintroduction programme, as it has successfully translocated 20 Scimitar-Horned Oryx (SHO) and 25 Addax to Chad’s Ouadi Rime-Ouadi Achim Game Reserve during last March.
Due to the programme’s efforts, the numbers of Scimitar-Horned Oryx in the wild reached 460, with 15 calves born so far this year, as well as 96 wild Addax, with five calves born to the herd, also this year.
Furthermore, for the first time ever, EAD has successfully translocated five Dama Gazelle on 14th March, 2022, which have joined the herd of other captured wild Dama Gazelle in the Agency programme.
As part of the monitoring programme for the animals, EAD successfully darted seven wild animals – six SHO and one Addax – and fitted them with satellite tracking collars, enabling close monitoring to witness survival and reproduction.
The SHO reintroduction programmes strives to create a self-sustaining herd of over 500 heads in the 77,950 square kilometres Ouadi Rimé-Ouadi Achim Wildlife Reserve, decades after the species was declared ‘extinct in the wild’ by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 2000.
Initiated in 2014, with the first shipment of animals released back into their natural habitats in 2016, the herds have been closely monitored to ensure they are adapting well to their wild environment.
The second phase of the reintroduction programme included adding the critically endangered Addax, and in November 2019, the translocation project was launched with the first pilot batch of 15 animals, followed by the second group of 25 Addax in March 2020.