Saving the Addax
The large mammal fauna of the Sahara is facing significant declines due to habitat loss, hunting, civil war and human encroachment. The current situation for antelope in this region could represent a total loss of unique biodiversity unless urgent action is taken.
In captivity addax are intensively managed through an EEP (European Endangered Species Programme) which aims to maintain a genetically diverse and viable captive population. To ensure the best long term management decisions are made for this species the addax EEP is composed of a coordinator and several Species Committee members.
Woburn Safari Park's Head of Reserves, Chris Smart sits on this Species Committee whose role is to assist the coordinator in management decisions.
The role of the EEP is not simply breeding animals but it offers resources, skills and expertise, biological knowledge of the species, genetic data as well as publicising the plight of this species.
The EEP has been working alongside the Sahara Conservation Fund and the Species Survival Plan (SSP) to assist the reintroduction of the addax to fenced reserves in Tunisia.
The EEP not only provides animals for breeding and reintroduction but offers valuable funding for post release monitoring and habitat protection and restoration.