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Scimitar-Horned Oryx Return to the Wild

Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute Collecting Tracking Data on Reintroduced Oryx
  • oryx running in the wild
    John Newby, Sahara Conservation Fund
  • After each scimitar-horned oryx was fitted with a collar, it was released back into the large yard
    John Newby, Sahara Conservation Fund
  • the oryx collaring team
    John Newby, Sahara Conservation Fund
  • For the first time in 30 years, scimitar-horned oryx are home in Chad
    John Newby, Sahara Conservation Fund
  • SCBI postdoc Jared Stabach helps prepare GPS collars to fit on 21 oryx.
    John Newby, Sahara Conservation Fund
  • Before fitting the animals with GPS collars, the team had to make sure that all of the collars were functioning properly
    John Newby, Sahara Conservation Fund
  • Smithsonian scientist Jared Stabach collaring an oryx
    John Newby, Sahara Conservation Fund
  • Scientists examining the teeth of an oryx about to be released
    John Newby, Sahara Conservation Fund
  • oryx running in the wild
    John Newby, Sahara Conservation Fund
  • a herd of oryx with collars running in the wild
    John Newby, Sahara Conservation Fund

Oryx are back in the wild! The Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi, the government of Chad and the Sahara Conservation Fund released the first scimitar-horned oryx back to their native grasslands Sunday, Aug. 14 in Chad where they had been extinct for more than 30 years. One oryx ventured out of the pen alone on Sunday night, and in the early hours Monday, Aug. 15, the main group of 19 individuals left the enclosure. Staff on the ground tracked them using the last known position and very-high frequency (VHF) signals from GPS collars fitted on each animal. Animals were located about 8 km from base camp. One male has returned to the enclosure where a single female remains, appearing not ready to venture out. Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute scientists are monitoring the herd remotely from their laboratory in Front Royal, Va. Read more about this global reintroduction effort.

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