After two year long preparation, an international meeting of experts on nature conservation and antelope breeding was held at the end of January in West African Senegal. The main organiser was a civil society Derbianus CSAW in cooperation with Directorate of National Parks in Senegal and Society for the Protection of the Environment and Fauna in Senegal. Thanks to the financial support of Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Zoo Praha, Knowsley Safari Park, Zoo Chester and International Union for Conservation of Nature IUCN, more than 40 participants from 7 countries and 4 continents could attend the workshop.
The Western Giant Eland, also called Lord Derby Eland or Western Derby Eland, is the world’s largest antelope that represents the true pearl in the natural heritage of Africa. None the less, this animal subspecies is critically endangered by extinction and its population counts roughly 200 individuals worldwide.
The original wild population of Western Giant Eland is restricted only to small group living in south-eastern Senegal particularly in Niokolo Koba National Park. As this last refuge is still being degraded and local population of Western Giant Eland became vulnerable, the conservation efforts started, that should ensure the survival of these animals in the protected reserves of Bandia and Fathala (Senegal).
The aim of this presentation is to inform a wide public of this few known antelope and to pass the information to community of specialists about goals, methodical approaches and activities of the Czech Aid Development Project: „Conservation and breeding of Western giant eland in Senegal“ and "Support to natural reserves and national parks of Senegal".
Many animal species were once plentiful in Senegal, but vanished because of a man and his struggles. So it is mainly his coexistence with nature that we should seek these days. None the less, we should not loose meanwhile, the treasure that had been given to us and learn first about all its values.