Trunkline Magazine (Louisville Zoo) Trunkline Magazine: September 2016 - Page 5

massive blow. Military soldiers assigned to protect the oil industry have significantly increased poaching levels in the addax’s last remaining haven. Dr. Jean-Christophe Vié, Deputy Director of IUCN Global Species Programme said, “We are witnessing in real time the extinction of this iconic and once plentiful species. Without immediate intervention, the addax will lose its battle for survival in the face of illegal, uncontrolled poaching and the loss of its habitat. On behalf of all concerned parties we are recommending a set of emergency measures to help save the addax from imminent extinction.” The emergency measures proposed were to increase Niger’s ability to monitor and protect its remaining population of addax, prevent poaching by soldiers, and reinforce the existing addax population through the management of assurance populations in human care around the world. The Louisville Zoo will play a role in these measures as we participate in the addax’s Species Survival Plan, a coordinated breeding program working to improve the genetic diversity of managed animal populations. Addax have been part of the Zoo’s collection since our opening year in 1969 with 53 successful addax births at the Zoo including 26 males and 27 females. The proposed measures for addax have proven successful with other hoof stock species. This summer, the scimitar-horned oryx was released into the remnant wild in Chad with the help of the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD) in collaboration with the government of Chad. In the past, more than a million scimitar-horned oryx ranged across North Africa from the Atlantic to the Nile River. However, the species had disappeared from the wild by the 1990s because of uncontrolled hunting and loss of habitat. This year was the first in almost 30 years any oryx had been in the country. This reintroduction was made possible through partnerships between accredited Zoos, National Zoological Park Conservation Re- Above: addax Henri and mother Roxanne. Opposite top: Top Henri Opposite bottom: An adult male addax search Centre, Fossil Rim, governmental entities and environmental organizations working across multiple disciplines. It was an exciting and gratifying step for all involved, obtained after many years of hard work. An equally tough road is still ahead for the addax. Don’t miss the chance to see this amazing species at your Zoo. You can see Henri on exhibit daily in the addax exhibit, located near the bongo and elephant exhibits in the Africa zone. Inside your Zoo ... and beyond The plight of the Saharan addax is dire, but there is still hope! The help of zoos made the reintroduction of scimitarhorned oryx back into their native habitat possible. Zoos could similarly be the hope for addax survival. Please support your Zoo and AZA-accredited zoos everywhere as we partner with the Sahara Conservation Fund to restore and safeguard addax in the Sahara. Louisville Zoo Trunkline • Fall 2016 • 5