UAE project delivers Chad’s first oryx calf in 30 years

The first scimitar-horned oryx calf has been born in its native Chad for the first time in three decades, thanks to UAE conservation efforts there.

The birth of scimitar-horned oryx in Chad marks a milestone for the UAE environmentalist group. Silvia Razgova / The National
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ABU DHABI // A scimitar-horned oryx was born in its native Chad for the first time in three decades thanks to help from a UAE environmental group.

The Environment Agency Abu Dhabi said the oryx had been born as part of the reintroduction programme it is leading in the Sahelian grasslands of Chad, in collaboration with the local government and the Sahara Conservation Fund.

The calf’s mother was part of the first herd transferred from the agency’s breeding centre. Scientists from agency and other institutions are able to track the location and behaviour of the oryx population, which are fitted with GPS transmitters on collars.

The agency said the birth of the oryx was a huge step in the field of conservation.

“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.

The scimitar-horned oryx was the largest mammal to become extinct in the wild over the past 25 years, and the Ead aims to have a self-sustaining population of 500 in Chad within the next five years.

“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,” she said.