Western Derby Eland

 

The Derby Eland (Taurotragus derbianus) is one of the largest and most beautiful antelopes in the world. Its western subspecies (T. d. derbianus) is also one of the most endangered. There are probably less than 200 animals in the wild only in Niokolo Koba National Park in Senegal. Unfortunately, their number is still decreasing due to poaching and grazing competition.

Western Derby Eland (c) Pavel Brandl

Few individuals were captured from Niokolo Koba in 2000 by the Direction of National Parks of Senegal and the Society for the Protection of Environment and Fauna of Senegal (SPEFS) and transferred them into a safety of fences into Bandia reserve. Now more than 80 Western Derby Elands live in the semi-captivity in Bandia and Fathala reserves in Senegal. The conservation programme is coordinated by a team of experts, enthusiasts, and students from the Czech Republic in a close Senegalese-Czech cooperation.

Derbianus CSAW together with the Czech University of Live Sciences Prague, Prague Zoo, and SPEFS manage the studbook for the Western Derby Eland. The programme has been funded for many years by the Czech Development Cooperation and scientific grants. The last big project funded by Ministry of Environment of the Czech Republic was terminated successfully in 2009. Nowadays, the Derbianus CSAW is the main platform for the Senegalese-Czech cooperation on the conservation of this critically endangered antelope.

Photogallery: Western Derby Eland