The conservation programme of Western Derby Eland (Taurotragus derbianus derbianus) in Senegal is coordinated by a team of experts, enthusiasts, and students from the Czech Republic in a close Senegalese-Czech cooperation.
The animals within the conservation programme should be regularly monitored. Our team should ensure the optimal composition of the breeding herd and build new facilities in reserves for antelopes which numbers is continuously increasing. The conservation programme is based on three main pillars: population management, research, and education.
The population management is the base of the conservation programme. Every year it is necessary to identify new born calves in reserves according their stripe pattern and mother-infant relationships. The monitoring of the kinship between the animals is essential for the creation of new herds composed from the less related animals. According to our findings, selected animals are transported to new breeding herds.
The research is mainly focused on ecology and feeding behaviour of Derby eland because the knowledge about these giants and its behaviour are very poor. We have studied the foraging ecology in their natural habitat (Niokolo Koba NP) and also in the fenced reserves. The maternal behaviour and reproduction are also included in our research.
The last pillar of our work stands on the education. The long term success is dependent on the cooperation and assistance of the people who lives in the neighbourhood of the reserves and parks. We hold the educational programmes for children and workshops for reserve staff, teachers, and local people.
For more infromation see the Western Derby eland (Taurotragus derbianus derbianus) Conservation Strategy.
(c) Tom Junek, Pavel Brandl, Zuzana Mihálovová, Derbianus CSAW, o.s.