The Society for Protection of Environment and Wildlife (SPEFS) in cooperation with Direction of National Parks of Senegal and Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague conducts the conservation program of the Western giant eland (Taurotragus derbianus derbianus) in Senegal. The herd captured in Niokolo Koba NP in 2000 consisted of 9 individulas - 3 subadult females, 5 adult females and 1 subadult male. Unfortunately 3 adult females died in quarantine camp just after the transport, one of them with her new born calf. The original breeding herd of the Western giant eland was established in the Bandia Reserve in 2000 and consisted of only 6 founders (1.5) - one male and five females. Two females were adult and three females and the male sub-adult at the time.
First, the animals were placed into the point of quarantine (30 x 15 m) and they were released in the special enclosure (25 ha) separated from other species in the rest of the Reserve in August 2000. Later, the enclosure was extended to 31 ha 50 ha, 70 ha and 250 ha in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007 respectively. The basic herd was divided in 2006. The second herd (1.3) was placed in 70 ha separated enclosure in Bandia Reserve and than in 2008 third herd (1.3) was created in Fathala reserve and placed to separated enclosure of 75 ha. The fourth breeding herd (1.5) was created in 2009 also in Bandia Reserve. The herd of 13 males was created in the Fathala reserve separately from the breeding herd.
The population of semi-captive Western giant eland in Bandia and Fathala reserves comprises 54 individuals in June 2009. Its structure consists of 4 breeding herds (3 in Bandia reserve, one in Fathala reserve) and bachelor herd.
We consider the careful genetic management of the breeding herds as being fundamental as it is a unique breeding of rare animals (see the project activities). Breeding the Western giant eland in the Bandia and Fathala reserves is fundamental for conservation of the species in Senegal and West Africa.