First Oryx Calf Born in the Wild in 30 Years

Conservationists are celebrating the birth of a rare Scimitar-horned oryx in Chad. Remarkably, it is the first calf to be born in the wild in 30 years.

At their highest peak, there may have been one million Scimitar-horned oryx living in the wild across Central and North Africa, but by the 1970s the entire global population was estimated to be fewer than 6,000.

Unfortunately, they continued to be pushed to the brink by habitat loss and excessive hunting. By 1988, there were only a few dozen individuals surviving in the wild and there have been no confirmed sightings since then. In 2000, they were officially listed as Extinct in the Wild on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Captive populations still existed, and their advocates have been working to return them to the wild. A world herd made up of individuals from around the globe has been established in the United Arab Emirates as part of a reintroduction program being run by the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) and the government of Chad.

Liberty beckons!

Posted by Sahara Conservation Fund on Monday, January 25, 2016

Earlier this spring, 25 of those individuals arrived in Chad and were taken to the Ouadi Rimé-Ouadi Achim Game Reserve, where they would settle in before being fully released.

Posted by Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi on Sunday, March 20, 2016

Now, those involved are celebrating an epic milestone with the birth of a calf, who was born to a female who was among the first to arrive in Chad.

” هذا خبر رائع ليس فقط لهيئة البيئة – أبو ظبي، لكن أيضا لشعب تشاد ولمجتمع المحافظة على الأنواع في العالم بأسره، مشيرة إل…

Posted by Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, October 18, 2016

“This really is wonderful news not only for Ead and the people of Chad, but also the entire global conservation community,” said Razan Al Mubarak, EAD’s secretary general.”To have a population that is already self-generating is a very positive sign for the future success of this project, but also a beacon of hope for the conservation community.”

The ultimate goal of the reintroduction program is to have a self-sustaining population of 500 in Chad within the next five years. It’s also believed there are more pregnant females among the herd, who are expected to give birth in the near future.

Posted by Sahara Conservation Fund on Friday, October 14, 2016

The effort involved multiple organizations — including the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) in Washington D.C., the Sahara Conservation Fund, the Zoological Society of London and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland – doing everything from training rangers to protect these oryx on the ground and monitoring them via satellite to conducting genetic testing.

“Restoring oryx to the wild will have a huge and positive impact on the conservation and management of the entire Sahelian grasslands ecosystem. We are thrilled to play a role in this incredible partnership designed to restore the species to its rightful place in the wild,” said Steve Monfort, the John & Adrienne Mars director of SCBI, who was in Chad when the oryx arrived.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

116 comments

Robert N.
Rob Chloe Sam N2 years ago

Thanks for sharing this great news.

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Quanta Kiran
Quanta Kiran2 years ago

nice, they're beautiful!

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Jen S.
Jen S2 years ago

Progress, even if it is in Texas it represents a good step. I can only pray it isn't for canned hunting, also thriving in Texas.

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Nicole Heindryckx

David F., Sorry to see that you apparently can not rejoice. I have read the article again and never saw anything about ranches in Texas. If my English is still a bit good, I thought these animals had been released in total freedom in Chad, an African country. Please, please don't be so negative, because such attitude will never restore even for 10 % what we have destroyed.

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Nicole Heindryckx

What a wonderful and positive story. Hope indeed that many other expecting females are in the herd and that restoration of the ecosystem can flourish. Thanks to all who have put money and time in this adventure.

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Joanne p.
Joanne p2 years ago

Ty

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Margie FOURIE
Margie FOURIE2 years ago

Good, thank you.

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Hent catalina - maria

Good news!

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