Addax

Photo Credit: Fossil Rim Wildlife Center
Scientific Name:
Addax nasomaculatus
Habitat:
Desert
Current Range:
Formerly widespread in the Sahelo-Saharan region of Africa; now found in parts of Niger and Chad
Conservation Status:
Critically endangered
Threats:
Habitat loss and over-hunting

The rarest antelope on earth

Formerly widespread, migrating across the Saharan Desert in northern Africa, the critically endangered addax is now found only in fragmented populations in Niger and Chad. This desert-dwelling antelope has experienced an unprecedented decline in population numbers and suitable habitat, largely due to over-hunting and habitat loss. Despite the addax being well-adapted to the harsh desert environment, prolonged drought has proven to be an additional threat. With fewer than 100 individuals in the wild, conservation action is imperative to save what has become the rarest antelope on earth.

Conservation in action

For the addax, captive breeding in zoological collections can immediately benefit future reintroduction efforts by providing source animals and by increasing fundamental biological knowledge about the species. While this species exists in zoos in substantial numbers, the genetic diversity of the population is not being maintained. This makes the species vulnerable to inbreeding depression. Because of its substantial land space and scientific expertise, including innovative herd and genetic management, the Conservation Centers for Species Survival (C2S2) has the capacity to help quickly stabilize and reverse this species’ dire situation in North America. C2S2 is committed to working with its partners to advance scientific knowledge that will improve the ability to conserve this species both in captivity and in the wild.

Learn more about the Source Population Alliance.

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