Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Na.

Nature et faune : revue internationale pour la conservation de la nature en Afrique = Wildlife and nature : international journal on nature conservation in Africa (Volume 20) online

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prenaient la fuite vers le Nord. Avant notre rencontre avec I'objet de notre mission, nous avons
eu a constater des multiples traces de leurs deplacements par groupes de 3 a 5 individus ; des
lieux semblant etre des dortoirs ou de zones de repos, car jonches de dejections recentes a
I'abri des rares touffes de Cornulaca monocantha cette espece vegetale dont la rusticite n'a
d'egale que la spectaculaire adaptation de I'Addax dans le desert. D'autres indices de presence
plus importants ont ete releves dans les depressions dunaires, si bien que nous sommes arrives
a conclure que nous avons a faire a une population vraisemblablement importante et done
encore viable, surtout au vu des diverses tallies des traces de sabots, ce que confirma notre
guide avan9ant meme le chiffre de 150 a 200 individus. Ces guides ont en effet I'habitude de
rencontrer des hardes de 6 a 20 individus.



30



Capture d'un specimen

Malgre la charge du vehicule nous nous lan^ames a la poursuite du troupeau, en essayant de
lui couper la retxaite par le cote Quest contre le vent. Ayant parcouru une distance assez
appreciable, nous nous rabattions sur Timaginaire trajectoire des animaux, et quelle ne fut
notre surprise et plus encore celles des animaux qui pensaient avoir echappe aux intrus, de
nous retrouver cote a cote. Les antilopes reprennent le galop mais cette fois-ci en ordre
disperse. Nous nous mimes aux trousses du plus ecarte et une course poursuite s'engagea dans
les dunes de sable. Malgre ses allures lourdes et maladroites, I'animal ne manque pas de
velocite, d'adresse et surtout de ruses, pour nous semer par des feintes brusques nous
entrainant dans un dedale de monticules et de dunes de sable, dont n'eut ete I'habilete et
I'experience de notre chauffeur, auraient desequilibre notre vehicule. Cette course s'etala sur
pres de cinq km, avant qu'epuise et essouffle au detour d'une dune, I'animal fit volte-face, les
comes en avant pour nous dissuader de I'approcher, ce que nous nous gardions bien de faire
avant que du vehicule nous lui eumes passer une corde au cou pour faciliter sa contention par
toute I'equipe. Une fois maitrise I'animal fut couche en decubitus lateral sur du sable
abondamment mouille, pour lui eviter le trepas par hyperthermic, lui permettant en meme
temps de reprendre son souffle normal.

Description sommaire du specimen

L'animal capture est un Addax femelle en debut de gestation. Sa robe d'un blanc eclatant,
contraste avec la couleur sombre de ses extremites, et des poils de son fanon. Ses 2 comes
(58cm) bien developpes en forme de lyre, torsadees et annelees, surplombent un front qu'ome
un toupet plus sombre que les autres parties du corps, en dehors des narines, des larges sabots
et des onglons tres developpes. Une large tache claire a laquelle il doit son nom
(nasomaculatus), recouvre la moitie inferieure de son chanfrein. Cette couleur se retrouve au
niveau des poils hirsutes du fanon. De grands yeux noirs lui assurent un large champ visuel
dans son inmiense territoire. Son relatif embonpoint, rime avec I'etat tres epars et presque sec
de la vegetation du milieu. Malgre le caractere hostile de son biotope, I'animal est
exterieurement parasite par des tiques, ce qui presume un contact avec les dromadaires des
caravaniers.

CONCLUSION ET RECOMMANDATIONS

L' Addax une espece en voie d'extinction

Antilope commune autrefois a toute la partie septentrionale de TAfiique par troupeaux
comptant plusieurs centaines d'individus, 1' Addax n'est aujourd'hui represente dans le monde
que par quelques sujets en perpetuelle persecution, au risque de releguer I'espece, si on n'y
prend pas garde, son existence aux legendes, comme bien d'autres especes victimes de
I'inconscience des hommes. Les principales menaces qui risquent de causer la disparition de
I'espece sont entre autres :

- Le hraconnage occasionnel : Surtout pratique par les patrouilles militaires et les
equipes de recherches petrolieres, qui utilisent des armes de guerre a repetition
d'une maniere inconsideree decimant des troupeaux entiers ou les poursuivent en
vehicule jusqu'a epuisement, ceux qui echappent fmissent par mourir



31



d'hyperthermie.

- Le tourisme sauvage : Pour des prises du vue les touristes n'hesitent pas a
poursuivre en vehicule ou par un survol a basse altitude en aeronef, les animaux
sur des distances considerables, sans se rendre compte que leur prise de vues
vient de condamner a mort I'animal qu'ils croyaient avoir laisse sain et sauf. En
effet quand on sait que I'Addax compense ses besoins en eau presque uniquement par
celle des plantes suffritex qu'il consomme, la mort par hyperthermic est quasi certaine
sous le chaud soleil du desert.

- La competence des animaux domestiques : Bien qu'insignifiante il n'est pas rare qu'en cas
de bonne pluviometrie, les camelins et autres petits ruminants s'aventurent plus au nord
pour des paturages plus nutritifs. Ici la chose la plus redoutee est la contamination de
certaines maladies communes a plusieurs especes par les antilopes comme la peste.



Mesures de sauvegarde



Avant de penser a tout acte d'amenagement et de gestion, il est imperatif de prendre les
dispositions utiles pour enrayer les risques cites plus haut, par une sensibilisation des
populations riveraines et un controle permanent par une brigade speciale des agissement
des potentiels utilisateurs de la zone.

Pousser les prospections plus en profondeur pour circonscrire toute la zone migratoire de
I'Addax jusqu'a I'Ennedi au Tchad, et connaitre le nombre approximatif des individus.

Concevoir un plan d'amenagement integrant tout le systeme ecologique de la zone, et un
mode de gestion a caractere ecologique educatif et socio-economique permettant
I'integration des populations riveraines dans un concept participatif.

Enfm elaborer des textes legislatifs pour circonscrire les problemes fonciers potentiels et
autres litiges pouvant subvenir.



32



Annexe I: Morphologie de la zone de prospection






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33



Annexe II: Carte des Sanctuaires des Especes observees



















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34




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Apres la capture et une heure de repos sur du sable, abondamment mouille, I'animal bien que sous contention a
perdu un peu de son agressivite sous les caresses du commandant Ama. Sa premiere nuit passee avec les
hommes, attache au pare-chocs du vehicule ftit un peu mouvementee (Photo AMA.E. Souleymane).

After the capture and one hour of rest on the very wet sand, the animal although under restraint has lost a lir.le
of its aggressiveness from the caresses of commandant Ama. Its first night spent with men, tied to the shock
absorber of the vehicle was a little emotional.




Relachee apres une nuit de captivite, I'animal reprend la direction de ses cong6n6res sans hesitation, non sans
s'arreter pour nous adresser un dernier regard 6mouvant. Pour I'Addax, la liberte dans les grands ergs n'a pas
de prix. Empreintes des pattes avant et arridre d'une femelle suit6e ; des sabots adapts aux difficiles
deplacements dans les sables des grands deserts (Photo AMA.E. Souleymane).

Released after one night in captivity, the animal takes the direction of its like without hesitation, not even
stopping to give us a last look. For the Addax, the freedom in the great ergs is priceless. Imprints of fore and
hind legs of a female; hoofs adapted to difficult movements in the sands of the great deserts.



3s5



The ADD AX (Addax nasomaculatus)
An Endangered Specie



AMA ADAM E. Souleymane*



INTRODUCTION

Niger, a Sahelian country in West Africa, extends over an area of 1,267, 000 sq. km. Three-
quarters of this area is situated in the northern zone in the Sahara desert.

The country's population in 1999 was estimated at about 10,000,000 inhabitants, increasing
at the rate of 3.3% per annum. This population, made up of 50% youth and 85% rural is
concentrated mainly in the southern fringe of the country (a quarter of the national territory)
where 75% of the inhabitants live.

The economy which depends mainly on rural activities, has been severely challenged by
drought and desertification. The degradation of natural resources, the main production base,
is the cause of the poor performance of the rural sector, especially evident in the reduction of
agricultural productivity, quasi permanent food insecurity and deterioration in the living
conditions of the rural populations.

Niger has tried for nearly 30 years to reverse the trend of natural resource degradation, but the
results it has achieved has been insignificant with regard to the extent of the desertification
phenomenon, and the inadequacy of available resources to tackle it.

In spite of this particularly unfavourable ecological and socio-economic context, the country
still has significant wildlife potentials that need to be developed.

Niger's Sahara, commonly called TENERE, is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful deserts
in the world given the beauty of its diverse sites, its clean and healthy character and especially
its "living" feature, because it hosts a spectacular wildlife of land animals and birds, habitat of
the last surviving Addax living in absolute freedom, bracing the recklessness of men in an arid
environment, the austere character of which ensures their survival.



* AMA ADAM E. Souleymane

BP 139 Zinder, Niger. Email: [email protected]



36



This present document is not meant to technically and scientifically define the ecology of a
vast area whose scope and biological diversity calls for multidisciplinary competencies and
adequate resources, but the modest contribution of a team in the formal testimony of the
existence of a wealth common to humanity, which calls for a quick reaction on our part to save
it, out of the fear of seeing it disappear for ever.



SCOPE OF MISSION

Considered for a long time as almost extinct in the natural environment, certain antelopes
living in desert countries still survive in these biotopes, despite the innumerable adversities
they have to face each day. The Addax, master of the desert sands, is one such typical
example.

According to persistent reports made on several occasions, in addition to the very large flock
of gazelles and ostriches, the Addax still exists in this desert part ofNiger.

Although the Tenere desert is a natural distribution zone of the Addax, it had disappeared
fi-om these habitats due to the pressure of human activities and the deterioration in climatic
conditions. In spite of persistent information pointing to the existence of the Addax, and the
probabilities that support this information, no formal proof has been produced to back these
affirmations for various reasons:

- Lack of material and financial resources in a poor country which does not allow
commitment of funds to an activity of which the economic benefits are not
immediately evident, and the ecological, cultural and educative benefits
unquantifiable in the short and medium term.

- Insecurity in the area leading to suspension of activities of the Air and Tenere
Natural National Reserve (RNNAT) with a surface area of 77,360 sq.km., with
an integral reserve within it called the sanctuary of the Addax. This reserve,
created in 1988 is located in the North-East of Niger, in the mountaineous
massive of the Air and the stretch of sand of the Tenere desert. Unfortunately
besides the hoofed wild sheep, the ostriches, monkeys and a rich avifauna (wild
birdsy, the presence of the Addax has not been noted for a long time.

In 1998, a first mission surveyed the South-East part of the Niger desert in the North of the
Termit mass at latitude 16° 14' North and longitude 10° 59' East. This part ofthe Tenere desert
shows similarities to the Southern part of the Air and Tenere Reserve and perhaps a projection
for the Addax sanctuary.

In July 2001 a second mission was undertaken in the area prospected by the first mission and
on 1 3 July an adult female Addax was captured by the team of this mission.



37



Status of the fauna and flora

Status of the fauna:

The Sahelo-Saharan fauna of Niger, considered as decimated increasingly springs surprises
by its capacity to adapt to external pressures for which it continues to pay a heavy price. As a
matter of fact, despite all these pressures (indiscriminate poaching on a large scale,
overgrazing, farming, wild tourism etc. . . .), this wild animal has found refuge in the marginal
areas, at a high cost due to the folly of men, in spite of the constraints that nature poses to it,
maintaining the existence of a significant biological diversity in this environment.

Status of the flora:

In brief, two large groups can be identified:

- a first group comprising the preferred habitat of dorcas gazelles (Gazella dorcas)
and the great Arab Goose {Otis arabs). This area seems less degraded and more
or less covered by a relatively uniform pasture. The most dominant grassy
species are the Stripagostis vulnerans and the Blepharis linarifolia, the shrubs
have a rather low density and are dominated by Acacia raddiana, Commiphora
africana, Maerua crassifolia andLeptadeniapyrotechnica;

- the second large group is a group of desert formation characterized by a
vegetation reduced to pseudo saharan steppes. This vegetation is sparse and
mainly composed of two hardy plants; the Cornulaca moncantha (Zri inToubou,
Had in Arab), which seems to be the most striking plant and from afar resembles a
shrub with a scrubby shape; and the Stipagrostis vulnerans (mayegu in Toubou).

PROGRESS OFTHE MISSION

On 13 July, the mission team woke up at the wells of the Termit Dolle at the foot of the
mountain. On board two cross-country vehicles and under the directions of our guides we
took the Northern direction in the middle of the Tenere desert. Progress was very slow, and
the lack of any trace of a track, made us take several detours to avoid the very high sand hills
or very abrupt descents. In the early afternoon, one of the vehicles broke down and the extent
of the breakdown, forced us to leave it there and make a choice between continuing the
mission, with all the risks inherent in that decision or abandon it. We opted for the former.
After taking care to record the coordinates of the place on the GPS to help facilitate the return
trip, we took with us our beddings and food. The journey was even slower, and after two hours
of travel, our recklessness was rewarded, because about I km ahead of us, three adult Addax
were running towards the North. Before our encounter with the object of our mission, we had
observed multiple traces of their movements in groups of 3 to 5 individuals; the places seemed
to be their sleeping or resting areas, because of fresh faeces littered in the shade of rare tufts of
Cornulaca monocantha, this plant specie whose hardiness matches only the spectacular
adaptation of the Addax in the desert. Other more significant indications of presence were
collected in the sand hill depressions, so much so that we arrived at the conclusion that we
were dealing with a really large population and thus still viable, especially in view of the
different sizes of hoof marks, which our guide confirmed even giving a figure of between 1 50
and 200. These guides in effect usually encounter herds of 6 to 20 individuals.



38



Capture of a specimen

Despite the load of the vehicle we chased the herd, by trying to stop its retreat through the
West side against the wind. Having covered quite an appreciable distance, we fell on the
imaginary trajectory of the animals to find us side by side, to our surprise and even more so to
that of the animals who thought they had escaped from the intruders. The antelopes doubled
their gallops but this time in a dispersed order. We chased after those further away and a
pursuit began in the sand hills. In spite of their heavy and awkward gait, the animal does not
lack speed, skill and especially tricks, to shake us off with false stops leading us into a
labyrinth of mounds and sand hills, which were it not for the skill and experience of our driver,
would have overturned the vehicle. This race stretched over nearly 5 km. before tired and
breathless, at the turn of a sand hill, the animal made a u-tum, with its horns lowered to
dissuade us from approaching, which we were carefiil to do before we could put a rope around
its neck from the vehicle, to make it easy for the whole team to restrain it. Once overpowered,
the animal was made to lie sideways on very wet sand, to prevent death by hypothermia, while
allowing it at the same time to regain its normal breath.



Brief description of the specimen

The captured animal is a female Addax in early gestation. It's brilliant white coat, contrasts
with the dark colours of its extremities and the hair of its fetlocks. Its two well-developed
horns (58cm) in the shape of a lyre, twisted and ringed, overhang a forehead adorned with a
tuft of hair much darker than other parts of the body, besides the nostrils, large hoofs and well
developed nails. A large clear spot to which it owes its name (nasomaculatus) covers the
lower half of it its forehead. This colour is also found on the hairy coat of the fetlock. Huge
black eyes give it a wide field of vision in its immense territory. In spite of the hostile
character if its biotope, the animal is externally infested with tics, which presupposes contact
with the horses of the caravaneers.



CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

The Addax, a species in the process of extinction

The antelope previously common in all the Northern part of Africa by herds of several
hundreds of individuals, the Addax is today only represented in the world by some subjects in
perpetual persecution, at the risk of relegating the specie if one is not careftil, to its existence
in legends, like other species that are victims of man's irresponsibility. The main threats
which risk causing the disappearance of the specie are among others:

- occasional poaching : Especially practiced by the military patrols and petroleum
research teams, who use fire arms repeatedly in an inconsiderate manner
decimating entire herds or pursuing them in a vehicle unto death. Those that
escape end up by dying of hypothermia.

- Wildlife tourism : In order to take a good view, tourists do not hesitate to pursue
the animals in vehicles or by flying over at low altitude in an aircraft, over



39



considerable distances, without realizing that taking a view is condemning the
animal that they thought they have left safe and sound, to death. As a matter of
fact when one knows that the Addax satisfies its water needs almost solely
through the plants that they consume, death through hypothermia is almost
certain under the hot sun of the desert.

- The capability of domestic animals: Although insignificant, it is not rare that in
cases of good rainfall, the 'camelins' and other small ruminants venture further to
North for more nutritious pasture. Here the most dreaded thing is the infection of
the antelopes with certain diseases common to several species, like the plague.



Safety measures



Before thinking of any development and management action, it is imperative to

take useful steps to check the risks cited above, through the sensitization of

riverside populations and permanent control by a special squad on the dealings

of potential users of the area.

In-depth surveys to cover all the migratory area of the Addax up to the Ennedi in

Chad, and know the approximate number of individuals.

Design a development plan integrating all the ecological system of the area, and a

mode of management with an ecological educative and socio-economic character

allowing the integration of riverside populations in the participative concept.

Finally formulate legislative texts to tackle the potential land tenure problems

and other disputes that can occur.



40



DIRECTORS OF FORESTRY SERVICES

IN AFRICA



1. ALGERIE

Directeur General des Forets
Ministere de rAgriculture
38, avenue
Franklin Roosevelt
Fax:(00213)2 712396
2 915317
Algiers

2. ANGOLA

M. Tomas Pedro CAETANO

Directeur General de I'lnstitut de
Developpement Fortestier (IDF)
Ministere de I'Agriculture et du
Developpement Rural
B.R 74

Tel : (2442) 32 39 34
Fax: (2442) 32 52 36 / 32 39 34
Email : IDF(a),netangola.com or
Floresta(a),netangola.com
Luanda

3. BENIN

M. Mawuna Tchiwanou

Directeur des Forets et des Ressources Naturelles

(DFRN)

B.R 393

Tel.: (229) 33 06 09

Fax: (229) 33 04 21/33 21 92

Cotonou

4. BOTSWANA

Mr. M. MPATHI

Director, Department of Crop Production

and Forestry

Ministry of Agriculture

RM.B. 003

Tel.: (267) 35 05 00

Fax: (267) 35 60 26

Gaborone

Dr. Enos SHUMBA

lUCN

Regional Programme Manager for the SADC

Biodiversity Support Programme.



Telephone: 267 -318 8351/3
E-mail: Enos.Shumba(^iucn.org
Gaborone

5. BURKINA FASO

M. M. Leonard ZOURE

Directeur General

Direction Generale des Eaux et Forets

Ministere de I'Environnement et du Cade de Vie

B.R 7044

Tel.: (226) 36 03 53/36 50 21

Fax: (226) 36 03 53

Email : dgef(g>cenatrim.bf

Ouagadougou 03

6. BURUNDI

M. Astere BARARWANDIKA

Directeur du Departement des Forets

Ministere de I'Amenagement du Territoire, de

I'Environnement et du Tourisme

B.R 631

Tel.: (2570) 22 31 09

Fax: (2570) 21 10 80

Email: ccc(a),cbinfcom

Bujumbura

7. CAMEROON - CAMEROUN

M. Jean Claude ABENA

Directeur des Forets

Ministere de I'Environnement et des Forets

B.R 194

Tel.: (2372) 23 92 31

Fax:(2372)23 92 31

Cell: (237)9 560 605

Yaounde

8. CAPE VERDE - CAP-VERT

Mme Maria Luisa MORAIS

Directrice, Service Sylviculture et Elevage

Ministere de I'Agriculture, Sylviculture

et I'Elevage

C.R 66

Tel.: (238) 264 75 06

Fax: (228) 264 75 43

Email: d gasp(a).cvtelecom.cv

Praia



41



9. CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC -
REPUBLIOUE CENTRAFRICAINE

M. Luc DIMANCHE

Directeur des Forets

Ministere de rEnvironnement, des Eaux,

Forets, Chasses et Peche

B.P. 830

Tel.: (236) 61 02 16

Fax: (236) 61 17 16

Bangui

10. CHAD

M.AhmatAGALA

Directeur de la Protection des Forets et de la

Lutte contre Desertification

Ministere de I'Environnement et du Tourisme

B.P 447

Tel.: (235) 51 50 32/51 31 28

Fax: (235) 51 51 19

N'Djamena

11. COMOROS

M. Abdourahaman B. HOUSSEN

Directeur des Forets

Ministere de la Production et de I'Environnement

Tel.: (269) 73 66 88

Fax: (269) 73 63 57

Moroni

12. CONGO. PR



14. COTE D'lVOIRE

Colonel Koffi BOUSSOU

Directeur de la Faune et Forets

Ministere des Eaux et Forets

20 B.P 650

Tel.: (225) 20 22 16 29

Fax: (225) 20 21 46 18 / 20 21 05 12

Abidjan 20

15. EGYPT



16. EOUATORIAL GUINEA

Mr. Nicanor ONA NZE

Director General de Bosques

Ministerio de Bosques, Pesca y Medion Ambiente

Tel: (240) 75 926

Fax: (240) 92 905

Email : proeqg(a),intnet. gq

Malabo



17. ERITREA

Mr. Estifanos BEIN

Head of Forestry and Wildlife Division

P O. Box 1042

Tel: (2911) 18 10 77/18 11 19

Fax: (2911) 18 14 15

Email: estbein(a),eol.com.er

Asmara



M. Augustin MAWALALA

Directeur de la Gestion Forestiere et Chasse

Ministere des Affaire Foncieres, Envirormement,

Conservation de la Nature, Peche et Forets

B.P 12348

Tel.: (243-12) 34 390 / 98 231 555

Fax: (243-12)

Kinshasa 1

13. CONGO REPUBLIC

M. Kanwe Jacques

Directeur General

Direction General des Eaux et Forets

Ministere de I'Economie Forestiere

B.P 989

Tel: (242) 81 07 37/ 51 18 33/4128 92

Fax: (242) 81 41 36/ 34

Email: [email protected]'

Brazzaville



18. ETHIOPIA

Mr. Ato Amare WORKU

Head of Forestry Department

Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development

PC. Box 62347

Tel.: (251) 52 82 94 / 52 82 95 / 52 82 93

Fax:(251)52 82 98

Email:

Addis Ababa



19. GABON

Mr Pierre NGAVOURA

Directeur General des Forets
Ministere de I'Economie Forestiere, de la
Peche, de I'environnement et de la Protection de
la Nature.



42



20. GAMBIA

Mr. Jatto SILLAH

Director of Forestry

Ministry of Fisheries, Natural Resources

and Environment 5 Marina Parade

Tel.: (220) 22 73 07

Fax: (220) 22 94 36

Email: [email protected]

Banjul

21. GHANA

Mr. A. K. BOACHIE-DAPPAH

Executive Director

Ghana Forestry Commission

P.O. Box M 212

Tel.: (233-21) 22 13 15/67 57 36

Fax: (233-21) 22 80 18

Email : forcom(a).forestrvcommission.com or

info(5),hg.fcghana.com


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