Conservation of antelopes stands on the cooperation with Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, confirmed the director of National parks in Senegal during his visit to Czech Republic

27/09/2013 18:59

The press release from 13/9/2013

Colonel Souleye Ndiaye, the chief of Directorate of National Parks in Senegal (DPN), visited the Czech Republic at the invitation of Czech University of Life Sciences Prague (CULS) and NGO Derbianus Czech Society for African Wildlife (Derbianus CSAW). During his five-day stay, one of the highest representatives of the nature conservation of the West African country introduced his visions regarding the critically endangered western Derby eland subspecies conservation to Czech scientists and diplomats. The return of the Derby eland from the Bandia and Fathala reserves to an enclosure in the Niokolo Koba National Park should become its main pillar. Herds in the Bandia and Fathala reserves grew up to almost 100 animals during more than ten-year management of the Czech experts. Thanks to these results, the CULS team continues to be the leading partner of the conservation programme, said Ndiaye.

"I have been working at the DPN Directorate for many years and the Derby eland conservation is my priority. Several foreign teams were interested in antelopes but only the Czech team was here from the very beginning, overcame all the obstacles and the cooperation is mutually beneficial", said Ndiaye at the Monday meeting with professor Jiří Balík, the rector of CULS. The essential role of CULS in the antelope conservation was confirmed at the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic. 

"It is very important for our team to have the support of DPN. After we organised an international workshop on the conservation programme in January in Senegal, we are fulfilling first steps of the approved strategy. The crucial step will be the agreement - now in preparation - between the Czech and Senegalese Ministries of the Environment, which formalises cooperation between CULS and DPN", stated Karolína Brandlová, the chair of Derbianus CSAW.

Czech scientists are willing to participate on the implementation of the DPN plan to build the historically first enclosure for animals in the Niokolo Koba National Park. This could be built next year and therefore a space protecting animals against poaching would be created. At the same time, tourists would certainly have a chance to see the Derby elands and other species of big mammals in their natural environment.

Apart from the enclosure construction in 2014, there is a plan of a reintroduction of several males provided with radio and GPS collars back to the park. Ndiaye was convinced of its efficiency after an excursion to the České Švýcarsko National Park where deer are monitored by these collars. “We hope males will join a group of the wild antelopes and therefore we will know the exact area of their occurrence and their spatial behaviour”, added Brandlová. After 14 years from capturing the 6 founders of the current herds in the reserves, the circle may be closing and the Derby eland would come back “home”. 

This press release is also available for downloading.