After the exciting successes of the SAVE ADDAX project, the challenging collaboration between Spazio d'Avventura and the SCF Sahara Conservation Fund continues, the organization of John Newby, a great scholar of Sahelo-Saharan ecosystems.
As for the other missions, our contribution is expressed in the logistics organization and in the technical assistance, based on the information and data (environmental surveys, traces, discovery of remains), received from the scientific team.
The new mission investigated the environmental suitability of the "Ouadi Rime Ouadi Achim Faunal Reserve (OROAFR)" in the center of the Chad, to the reintroduction, according to the indications of the World Union for the Conservation of Nature, the scythe-horned oryx (Oryx dammah), a large antelope historically widespread in the area but now declared extinct in the wild. The causes of his disappearance in the last thirty years are to be found in several factors, including poaching and competition for grazing with flocks of nomadic herders. The oryxes have in fact traditionally been hunted for their horns, flesh and skin, but the introduction of systems such as weapons and motorized vehicles, has increased hunting pressure on the species, resulting in a devastating decline in population.
The mission, which took place in September 2011, was supported by remote sensing and GIS mapping techniques and analyzed the evolution of climate and environmental variables over the last 27 years, evaluating the current and potential levels of the anthropogenic impacts on ecosystem. Overall, these results suggest that OROAFR is a favorable site for the re-introduction of the oryx in nature from the population of about 1500 elements globally kept in captivity. On this project, we are already preparing ourselves to support the next mission to be held in April 2012.