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Under the umbrella of the oryx : monitoring the biodiversity of Tunisia

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Presented during the 17h Annual Sahelo-Saharan Interest Group Meeting organized by the NGO Sahara Conservation Fund in Senegal, from 4 to 6 May 2017. The Sahara Conservation Fund (SCF) gathers every year about a hundred people who are interested in the field of Sahelo-Saharan species conservation.

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Under the umbrella of the oryx : monitoring the biodiversity of Tunisia

  1. 1. 17th Annual Sahelo-Saharan Interest Group Meeting 2 days of talks on biodiversity conservation in the Sahara and in the Sahel Under the umbrella of the oryx – Monitoring the Biodiversity of Tunisia Marie PETRETTO, Conservation Biologist - Marwell Wildlife May 4 – 6, 2017
  2. 2. Under the umbrella of the oryx Marie Petretto1, Phil Riordan1, Tim Woodfine1, Chaouki Najjar1, Habib Abid2 1 Marwell Wildlife, Colden Common, Winchester, Hampshire, SO21 1JH, UK 2 DGF, Ministère de l’Agriculture et des Ressources Hydrauliques, Avenue Savary, 1002 Tunis, Tunisia SSIG 2017, Saint-Louis, Senegal Monitoring the biodiversity in Tunisia
  3. 3. Small population Erratic environment Woodfine T. & Gilbert T. (2004). The Biology, Husbandry and Conservation of Scimitar- horned Oryx (Oryx dammah)
  4. 4. Population Performance
  5. 5. Population Performance Animal Health
  6. 6. Population Performance Animal Health Rainfall
  7. 7. Population Performance Animal Health RainfallVegetation
  8. 8. Population Performance Animal Health RainfallVegetation Other species
  9. 9. Scimitar-horned oryx reintroduction & pilot project in Dghoumes NP Antelope Monitoring & Management in Tunisia (Dghoumes NP, Sept 2012 – Sept 2013) üMonitoring & Management of SH Oryx and their Wider Environment üConservation Genetics & Evaluation of the SH Oryx Meta- Population
  10. 10. Births & deaths Number & sex-ratio Group structure and habitat use Body condition Genetics
  11. 11. Preliminary analysis on the status of the herpetofauna in Dghoumes NP Ernesto Filippi, 2013 ü14 reptiles (2 geckos, 1 skink, 2 lacertids, 2 agamids, 1 varanid, 6 snakes) ü1 amphibian
  12. 12. Small mammals and their relationship with large herbivores in Dghoumes NP Robert Cooke, 2014 ü8 species (gerbillus sp, meriones sp, Ctenodactylus sp) üLow capture rate üTime consuming method
  13. 13. Measuring grazing pressure as part of post-release monitoring of reintroduced antelope in semi-arid steppe Tim Woodfine, Marie Petretto, Abdelkader Chetoui, Khaled Zahzah & Guy Parker SSIG Agadir, 2013 ü Evidence that vegetation has recovered significantly following protection compared to grazing land outside the park ü However, historic over-grazing is still evident ü Prolonged drought and a growing oryx population could push the vegetation back into decline
  14. 14. Cooke R. et al (2016). Resource partitioning between ungulate populations in arid environments. Ecology and Evolution Distance sampling as a technique for quantifying habitat use: Resource partitioning by ungulates in Tunisia Robert Cooke, 2014 SH Oryx üpositively associated with plant species richness and vegetated ephemeral watercourses ünegatively associated with rock cover Dorcas gazelles üno significant relationship the covariates quantified (no habitat type preference)
  15. 15. The conservation implications of diet & resource use the African wolf and the red fox in southern Tunisia Holly Meynard, 2015 ülow impact of predation on large ungulate species üdiverse prey spectrum üWolf and fox play an opportunistic predator role in this environment üSuccessful genetic analysis of species identification
  16. 16. Habitat use: what role play the mountains in the SH Oryx environment? Marie Petretto & Chawki Najjar, 2016 üCamera-trap & transect surveys üThe SH Oryx extend their habitat to the mountain basements üPossible way out of the park
  17. 17. Habitat use: what role play the mountains in the SH Oryx environment? Marie Petretto & Chawki Najjar, 2016 üBreeding groups of wild Barbary sheep have been re-observed üMany observations of wolves, foxes, wild boars, Dorcas gazelles, gundis; evidences of more cryptic species Petretto M. et al (2017). Confirmation of free-ranging Barbary sheep (A. lervia) in Dghoumes NP and Boukornine NP, Tunisia. ORYX, Conservation news, 51(3).
  18. 18. Feasibility study for an integrated wildlife-livestock health monitoring in Tunisia: small ruminants and SH oryx Gian-Lorenzo d’Alterio, 2013-2014 9th International Sheep Veterinary Congress, May 2017 üQuestionnaire-based surveys üWhat are the pathogens? üImprovements in pastoral practices and management
  19. 19. Replicated the model to the other protected areas
  20. 20. Replicated the model to other antelope species
  21. 21. Catalyzed the North-African ostrich reintroduction üFounders from 2 lineages üComprehensive national strategy üNatural breeding (semi-wild)
  22. 22. Tozeur Gafsa Sfax Douz Tataouine Ben Guerdane Haddej Mezzouma Bou Hedma 5 000 ha (16 448 ha) Orbata 220 ha (5 746 ha) Haddej (Bou Hedma) 320 ha Sidi Toui 6 315 haOued Dekouk 500 ha (5 750 ha) Jabbes (Senghar) 2 660 ha (287 000 ha) El Gonna (4 711 ha)Dghoumes 8 000 ha Djebil 7 700 ha (150 000 ha) Poster presnnted at the EAZA Forum, Fuengirola 2016
  23. 23. Captive breeding for repopulation purposes üMain identified weakness üRely on voluntary services üLack of resources
  24. 24. Capacity building: Wildlife & Conservation Medicine workshop
  25. 25. Capacity building: Veterinary training
  26. 26. Risks assessment: developing standard of practices üImprove understanding & adapt management üDocument events üLab work & diagnosis
  27. 27. Ecosystem health Animal health Human health
  28. 28. Risks assessment: developing standard of practices üMitigation of the illegal wildlife trade impact üRehabilitation & release üAnimal movements, diseases transmission and human health
  29. 29. Reinforcement as a conservation tool for returning Tunisian spur-thighed tortoises seized from wildlife trade back into the wild Kezia Bellamy, 2015
  30. 30. Assessment of the risks associated to the use of seized tortoises as a tool for population reinforcement üImpact on the ecosystems üHybridization üPathogens transmission risk
  31. 31. Preliminary assessment of the tortoises potential role in the transmission of Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) Chawki Najjar, 2015 üVectorial zoonosis üSub-species distribution & relative density
  32. 32. Small population Erratic environment Habitat restoration Other species recovery Capacity building Benefits for locals Development of partnerships and networks (human health, livestock, tourism) ICONIC SPECIES
  33. 33. 8,5 1 62 8,5 8 86 -90-85-80-75-70-65-60-55-50-45-40-35-30-25-20-15-10-5 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 Scimitar-horned Oryx (O. damah) population structure, all protected areas (N=176), 01/17 male female Dghoumes ; 71 Bou Hedma; 38 Haddej; 18 Sidi Toui; 42 Oued Dekouk; 39 Estimated population size per protected area (N=208), 01/17
  34. 34. Bou Hedma; 0 Haddej; 44 Djebil; 20 Jabbes; 50 Estimated population size per protected area (N=114), 01/17 0 5 2 39,5 0 5 5 46,5 -50 -45 -40 -35 -30 -25 -20 -15 -10 -5 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 Addax (A. nasomaculatus) population structure, all protected areas (N=104), 01/17 male female
  35. 35. Dghoumes; 25 Orbata; 27 Sidi Toui; 8 Friguia; 5 Estimated population size per protected area (N=65), 01/17 13 19 8 5 20 -25 -20 -15 -10 -5 0 5 10 15 20 25 North-African ostrich (S. c. camelus) population structure, all protected areas (N=65), 01/17 male female
  36. 36. THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION Further discussions welcome! mariep@marwell.co.uk

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