West African Lions, Nubian wild asses, Dama gazelles, and addaxes are critically endangered in Chad. The central African country of Chad boasts 136 mammal species. In a country which continues to witness rampant deforestation, mammals in Chad are susceptible to threats brought along by habitat destruction. Poaching is also a major problem, and although populations are conserved in parks and reserves, low funds and resources to run the protected areas are some of the impediments to conservation.
Endangered Mammals Of Chad
West African Lion (Panthera leo senegalensis)
The West African Lion is a subspecies of lion indigenous to West and Central African, including Chad. West African lions are differentiated from species of Southern and Eastern Africa by a smaller build and mane. This species tends to form smaller groups as well, mostly one lion, two lionesses and their young ones. In Chad, small populations of the lion have been confined to the Zakouma National Park, as the numbers continue to decline. While the lions roamed freely before in vast expanses of savannah and woodlands, agricultural encroachment has displaced the iconic animals. Populations in the national park are further threatened by poaching for bush meat or trophies.
Nubian Wild Ass (Equus africanus)
The Nubian wild ass is significant for being the ancestor to the domesticated donkey. The animal is a subspecies of the African wild ass. It is characterized by a light gray to fawn coat, which is white on the legs and undersides. The animal has large ears, and a black stripe crosses its back. The Nubian wild ass lives in temporary groups and is active in the morning and evening. The animal prefers arid regions and can survive a few days without water. The animal’s sustainability is threatened by inadequate water, agricultural expansion and competition for pastures with domestic animals.
Dama Gazelle (Gazella dama)
The Dama gazelle is the largest gazelle species in the world and it is another of Chad's endangered mammals. Its head, legs, and underparts are white whereas the upper body is reddish brown. The animals move in big groups as a strategy against predators such as hyenas, lions, and jackals. The species feeds on shrubs, acacia, leaves, and grasses. The animal roams the arid regions of eastern Chad, and it is found in isolated populations. Threats to the animal include habitat destruction, increased desertification, hunting, and livestock over-grazing. The species is listed as critically endangered.
Addax (Addax nasomaculatus)
Addax is a desert antelope adapted to the Sahara Desert. It has white or near-white coats that reflect sunlight to keep it cool during summer before it turns grayish brown during winter. The animal’s twisted horns are mostly between 30 and 42 inches long. The Addax is active at night and feeds on shrubs, grasses, and bush leaves. It is a social animal and lives in groups of between 5 and 20 animals for the purpose of protection. The Addax has been rendered critically endangered by over-hunting and human disturbance.
Other endangered mammals in Chad
The Chadian Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus sharicus) is only found in Central Africa. The animal is an African wild dog species, and it is feared to be on the verge of extinction in Chad. The Rhim Gazelle (Gazella leptoceros) is a gazelle species adapted to the Sahara Desert. The endangered animal is threatened by habitat degradation, human disturbance, and hunting.