Rare Saharan Antelope Is Brought Back From the Brink of Extinction

Scimitar Horned Oryx Brought Back From Extinction

Photo: mountainpix/Depositphotos

Like so many animals today, Saharan antelope are severely threatened. However, a recent announcement offers a glimmer of hope for their future. The scimitar horned oryx—which can be identified by its long, arched horns and white-and-brown face—has been brought back from the brink of extinction. After previously being labeled extinct in the wild in 2000 by the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species, rigorous conservation efforts have led to its status being downgraded to endangered.

This amazing turnaround was made possible by the Environment Agency of Abu Dhabi (EAD), supported by the Zoological Society of London. After two decades, there have been 510 scimitar horned oryx calves born in Chad's Ouadi Rimé, at the Ouadi Achim Faunal Reserve. “At a time when biodiversity is being lost at unprecedented rates, the return of the scimitar horned oryx can give us hope for other species whose fate is—quite literally—in our hands,” says Dr. Andrew Terry, director of conservation and policy at the Zoological Society of London. “To have the fate of the flagship species for the initiative dramatically reversed proves the potential for the other species surviving only in zoos and reinforces the need for urgent support from funders and policy makers.”

The comeback of the scimitar horned oryx also underlines the importance of collaboration among organizations and governments to help protect and reestablish rare animal populations. “Projects like the scimitar horned oryx show that reversing the fate of these species is possible—we just need to be able to give the same resource and commitment to the other Extinct in the Wild species that survive only under human care,” adds Professor John Ewen. Hopefully, the fortune of the scimitar horned oryx will continue into the future, and lead the way for more species to rebound in their natural habitats.

The scimitar horned oryx, which was previously extinct in the wild, has been brought back from the brink of extinction through rigorous conservation efforts.

Scimitar Horned Oryx Brought Back From Extinction

Photo: DJHolmes86/Depositphotos

h/t: [Zoological Society of London]

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Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. She wrote and illustrated an instructional art book about how to draw cartoons titled 'Cartooning Made Easy: Circle, Triangle, Square' that was published by Walter Foster in 2022.
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