The wildlife in Chad is composed of diverse flora and fauna. The vegetation is made up of almost 2,290 species of plants of which 55 species are endemic. Chad also has 134 species of mammals and 530 species of birds of which 155 species are migrants. Chad had a rich flora and fauna but due to the human activities such as deforestation, hunting, clearing land for agriculture, some species are threatened. Most of the population of large mammals likes lion, leopards, and hippopotamus, have also disappeared from the country as a result of these activities. To ensure future survival and preservation of wildlife in the country, the Chad government has declared some of the parks and natural reserves as protected areas.
Parks and Reserves
Bahr Salamat Faunal Reserve
Bahr Salamat Faunal Reserve is a natural conservation area in the Republic of Chad. The reserve got its name from River Bahr Salamat which flows through the reserve and a major source of water for the species of fauna within the reserve. Bahr Salamat Faunal Reserve was designated on January 1, 1964, and it is listed under UICN category IV as a species conservation area. It covers an area of approximately 20,500 square kilometers which include sections of the surrounding Zakouma National Park. Bahr Salamat Faunal Reserve provides an important wetland site suitable for integrated rural development and conservation. The common animal species found in this reserve include the antelope, giraffes, Nile crocodiles, and birds such as the ostrich.
Manda National Park
Manda National Park is located near the town of Sarh in the southern Chad. It was established in 1965 and occupies a total area of 440 square miles. Prior to its elevation as a national park, Manda was strictly a faunal reserve. Manda National Park is rich in birds’ species including Yellow penduline, white collared Starling, and Bush petronia. The mammals include lion and other large mammals which can only be seen during the dry season.
Zakouma National Park
Zakouma National Park is found in the south of Chad. It was Chad’s first national park with an average area of 1200 square miles. The park was created in 1963 but was neglected until its restoration which began in 1989, supported by the European Union. The park has witnessed a significant reduction in the number of wildlife, especially elephants that were hunted for their ivory. Currently, the park is under the protection of armed guards who protect it mainly from the Sudanese hunters. The animal species in the Zakouma National Park include 44 mammals’ species and several species of birds. The Park has been nominated to become World Heritage Site by the Chadian government.
The Ministry of Tourism and Environment is responsible for the conservation, exploitation, and protection of natural resources in Chad. The ministry is dived into divisions such as Water and Forests, National Parks, and Conservation and Management to implement the conservation measures. There are also other multi-agency projects in the country which are aimed at conserving and protecting the natural resources in the country. Some of these projects include Development of National Conservation Strategy which is a partnership project between the government of Chad and the UICN, and the pilot project for the management of forest funded by the government of Netherlands.