Sahara Conservation Fund

The Sahara Conservation Fund (SCF) is an international non-governmental organization established in 2004 to conserve the wildlife, including the endangered species, of the Sahara desert and bordering Sahelian grasslands.[1][2][3] Its goal is to maintain the Sahara as a well-conserved, well-managed desert in which ecological processes function naturally, with plants and animals in healthy numbers across their normal historical range.

SCF creates partnerships between people, governments, worldwide zoos and scientific communities, international conventions, NGOs, and donor agencies. Its activity is based on three complementary program areas: conserving the Sahara’s remaining wildlife, captive breeding and reintroduction of key species, and communicating the crisis faced by Saharan wildlife. SCF currently works in several African countries, including Niger, Chad, Algeria, Senegal, and Tunisia.

The Sahara Conservation Fund is incorporated as a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization in the state of Missouri and is hosted by the Wildcare Institute of the St. Louis Zoo.


  1. ^ Conservation initiatives. Sahara Desert.
  2. ^ West Africa. Lonely Planet, 2009. p. 80.
  3. ^ Klingdon, Jonathan et al. Mammals of Africa, Volumes 1-6. A&C Black, 2013. Vol. VI, p. 570.

External links

2010 Sahel famine

A large-scale, drought-induced famine occurred in Africa's Sahel region and many parts of the neighboring Sénégal River Area from February to August 2010. It is one of many famines to have hit the region in recent times.The Sahel is the ecoclimatic and biogeographic zone of transition between the Sahara desert in the north of Africa and the Sudanian savannas in the south, covering an area of 3,053,200 square kilometers. It is a transitional ecoregion of semi-arid grasslands, savannas, steppes, and thorn shrublands.The neighboring Sénégal River Area contains various vegetation types and covers parts or all of Mauritania, Mali, Senegal and Guinea. It has also had very low rainfall over the last year according to the UN, NGOs and the Senegal River Basin Development Authority. Sudan set a new temperature record of 49.7 °C (121.3 °F) on 22 June, in the town of Dongola.


For the GP2 Series racing team, see Addax Team.

The addax (Addax nasomaculatus), also known as the white antelope and the screwhorn antelope, is an antelope of the genus Addax, that lives in the Sahara desert. It was first described by Henri de Blainville in 1816. As suggested by its alternative name, this pale antelope has long, twisted horns - typically 55 to 80 cm (22 to 31 in) in females and 70 to 85 cm (28 to 33 in) in males. Males stand from 105 to 115 cm (41 to 45 in) at the shoulder, with females at 95 to 110 cm (37 to 43 in). They are sexually dimorphic, as the females are smaller than males. The colour of the coat depends on the season - in the winter, it is greyish-brown with white hindquarters and legs, and long, brown hair on the head, neck, and shoulders; in the summer, the coat turns almost completely white or sandy blonde.

The addax mainly eats grasses and leaves of any available shrubs, leguminous herbs and bushes. These animals are well-adapted to exist in their desert habitat, as they can live without water for long periods of time. Addax form herds of five to 20 members, consisting of both males and females. They are led by the oldest female. Due to its slow movements, the antelope is an easy target for its predators: lions, humans, African wild dogs, cheetahs, and leopards. Breeding season is at its peak during winter and early spring. The natural habitat of the addax are arid regions, semideserts and sandy and stony deserts.

The addax is a critically endangered species of antelope, as classified by the IUCN. Although extremely rare in its native habitat due to unregulated hunting, it is quite common in captivity. The addax was once abundant in North Africa, native to Chad, Mauritania and Niger. It is extinct in Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Sudan and Western Sahara. It has been reintroduced in Morocco and Tunisia.

Arabian bustard

The Arabian bustard (Ardeotis arabs) is a species of bustard which is found across the Sahel region of Africa and south western Arabia. It is part of the large-bodied genus, Ardeotis, and, though little known, appears to be a fairly typical species in that group.

Common ostrich

The common ostrich (Struthio camelus), or simply ostrich, is a species of large flightless bird native to Africa. It is one of two extant species of ostriches, the only living members of the genus Struthio in the ratite order of birds. The other is the Somali ostrich (Struthio molybdophanes), which was recognized as a distinct species by BirdLife International in 2014 having been previously considered a very distinctive subspecies of ostrich.The common ostrich shares the order Struthioniformes with the kiwis, emus, rheas, and cassowaries. However, phylogenetic studies have shown that it is the sister group to all other members of Palaeognathae and thus the flighted tinamous are the sister group to the extinct moa. It is distinctive in its appearance, with a long neck and legs, and can run for a long time at a speed of 55 km/h (34 mph) or even up to about 70 km/h (43 mph), the fastest land speed of any bird. The common ostrich is the largest living species of bird and lays the largest eggs of any living bird (extinct elephant birds of Madagascar and the giant moa of New Zealand laid larger eggs).

The common ostrich's diet consists mainly of plant matter, though it also eats invertebrates. It lives in nomadic groups of 5 to 50 birds. When threatened, the ostrich will either hide itself by lying flat against the ground, or run away. If cornered, it can attack with a kick of its powerful legs. Mating patterns differ by geographical region, but territorial males fight for a harem of two to seven females.

The common ostrich is farmed around the world, particularly for its feathers, which are decorative and are also used as feather dusters. Its skin is used for leather products and its meat is marketed commercially, with its leanness a common marketing point.

Dama gazelle

The dama gazelle, addra gazelle, or mhorr gazelle (Nanger dama, formerly Gazella dama) is a species of gazelle. It lives in Africa in the Sahara desert and the Sahel. This critically endangered species has disappeared from most of its former range due to overhunting and habitat loss, and natural populations only remain in Chad, Mali, and Niger. Its habitat includes grassland, shrubland, semi-deserts, open savanna and mountain plateaus. Their diets includes grasses, leaves (especially Acacia leaves), shoots, and fruit.

In Niger, the dama has become a national symbol. Under the Hausa name meyna or ménas the dama appears on the badge of the Niger national football team, who are popularly called the Ménas.

Hanover Zoo

Hanover Zoo is located in the city centre of Hanover, Germany. The zoo was established on 4 May 1865, and comprises an area of 22 hectares. It contains about 3,414 animals in 237 species, which are cared for by more than 400 employees in the summer season.

Mountain fennec

The mountain fennec (Vulpes sp. nov.) is an unidentified local name of a fox reported by Dr Koen de Smet, announced from the mountains of the Central Sahara by the local Tuaregs. It is possibly conspecific with Blanford's fox. The mountain fennec may just be a Corsavach Swift fox with bigger ears.

Niger national football team

The Niger national football team represents Niger in international association football through the Nigerien Football Federation, a member of Confederation of African Football (CAF). Niger plays in the colors of the flag of Niger, white, green and orange. Their nickname comes from the Dama gazelle, native to Niger, the Hausa name of which is Meyna or Ménas The Dama appears on their badge in the colors of the national flag.

North African ostrich

The North African ostrich,red-necked ostrich, or Barbary ostrich (Struthio camelus camelus) is the nominate subspecies of the common ostrich from West and North Africa. It is the largest subspecies, making it the largest living bird.

Nubian bustard

The Nubian bustard (Neotis nuba) is a species of bird in the bustard family. This is a medium-large bustard found in the sparsely vegetated interface between the southern margins of the Sahara desert and the northern part of the Sahel. It is found in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, and Sudan.

Its natural habitats are dry savanna and subtropical or tropical dry shrubland.


The initials SCF (or scf) may refer to:

Saba Conservation Foundation

Save the Children Fund

Sectional center facility, United States Postal Service

Self-consistent field, an approach used in Hartree–Fock methods in quantum systems

Service Control Function in a telecommunications network

South Central Farm

Southern Cathedrals Festival

Standard cubic foot of gas

State College of Florida

Stem cell factor

Supercritical fluid

Survey of Consumer Finances

Svenska Cykelförbundet

Swift, Certain, Fair

Switched Capacitor Filter


The Sahara (UK: , ; Arabic: الصحراء الكبرى‎, aṣ-ṣaḥrāʼ al-kubrá, 'the Great Desert') is a desert located on the African continent. It is the largest hot desert in the world, and the third largest desert overall after Antarctica and the Arctic. Its area of 9,200,000 square kilometres (3,600,000 sq mi) is comparable to the area of China or the United States. The name 'Sahara' is derived from a dialectal Arabic word for "desert", ṣaḥra (صحرا /ˈsˤaħra/).The desert comprises much of North Africa, excluding the fertile region on the Mediterranean Sea coast, the Atlas Mountains of the Maghreb, and the Nile Valley in Egypt and Sudan. It stretches from the Red Sea in the east and the Mediterranean in the north to the Atlantic Ocean in the west, where the landscape gradually changes from desert to coastal plains. To the south, it is bounded by the Sahel, a belt of semi-arid tropical savanna around the Niger River valley and the Sudan Region of Sub-Saharan Africa. The Sahara can be divided into several regions including: the western Sahara, the central Ahaggar Mountains, the Tibesti Mountains, the Aïr Mountains, the Ténéré desert, and the Libyan Desert.

For several hundred thousand years, the Sahara has alternated between desert and savanna grassland in a 41,000 year cycle caused by the precession of the Earth's axis as it rotates around the Sun, which changes the location of the North African Monsoon. The area is next expected to become green in about 15,000 years (17,000 AD). There is a suggestion that the last time that the Sahara was converted from savanna to desert it was partially due to overgrazing by the cattle of the local population.


The Sahel () is the ecoclimatic and biogeographic zone of transition in Africa between the Sahara to the north and the Sudanian Savanna to the south. Having a semi-arid climate, it stretches across the south-central latitudes of Northern Africa between the Atlantic Ocean and the Red Sea. The name is derived from the Arabic word sāḥil (ساحل, Arabic pronunciation: [ˈsaːħil]) meaning "coast" or "shore" in a figurative sense (in reference to the southern edge of the vast Sahara), while the name in Swahili means "coastal [dweller]" in a literal sense.

The Sahel part of Africa includes (from west to east) parts of northern Senegal, southern Mauritania, central Mali, northern Burkina Faso, the extreme south of Algeria, Niger, the extreme north of Nigeria, central Chad, central and southern Sudan, the extreme north of South Sudan, Eritrea, Cameroon, Central African Republic and the extreme north of Ethiopia.Historically, the western part of the Sahel was sometimes known as the Sudan region. This belt was roughly located between the Sahara and the coastal areas of West Africa.

Scimitar oryx

The scimitar oryx or scimitar-horned oryx (Oryx dammah), also known as the Sahara oryx, is a species of Oryx once widespread across North Africa which went extinct in the wild in 2000.

It has a long taxonomic history since its scientific description in 1816 by Lorenz Oken, who named it Oryx algazel. This antelope stands a little more than 1 metre (3.3 ft) at the shoulder. The males weigh 140–210 kg (310–460 lb) and the females weigh 91–140 kg (201–309 lb). The coat is white with a red-brown chest and black markings on the forehead and down the length of the nose. The calves are born with a yellow coat without distinguishing marks; their coats change to adult coloration at 3–12 months old.

The scimitar oryx formed herds of mixed sexes of up to 70 members, usually guided by the bulls. They inhabited semideserts and deserts and were adapted to live in the extreme heat, with their efficient cooling mechanism and very low requirement of water. Scimitar oryx feed on foliage, grasses, succulent plants and plant parts during the night or early morning. Births peak between March and October. After a gestation of eight to nine months, one calf is born. Soon after, the female has a postpartum estrus.

The scimitar oryx was once widespread across northern Africa. Its decline began as a result of climate change during the neolithic period, and later it was hunted extensively for its horns. Today, it is bred in captivity in special reserves in Tunisia, Morocco and Senegal and on private exotic animal ranches in the Texas Hill Country. In 2016 a reintroduction program was launched and currently a small herd has been successfully reintroduced in Chad.The scimitar oryx was domesticated in Ancient Egypt and is believed to have been used as food and sacrificed as offerings to gods. Wealthy people in Ancient Rome also bred them. The use of their valuable hides began in the Middle Ages. The unicorn myth may have originated from sightings of a scimitar oryx with a broken horn.

The scimitar oryx was the emblem of the ancient Egyptian Oryx nome and today is the animal symbol of the Sahara Conservation Fund.

Termit Massif Reserve

The Termit Massif Total Reserve is a nature reserve in the southeast of Niger which was established in January 1962. In March 2012, a national nature and cultural reserve was established covering an area of 100,000 square kilometres (39,000 sq mi), including the entire area of the Termit Massif and Tin Toumma desert, making it the largest single protected area in Africa. The area provides habitat for many critically endangered species. Prominent among them is the addax antelope, which is categorized under the IUCN Red List as one of the rarest and most endangered species in the world; about 300 of them are reported in the reserve. A conservation effort has been launched by the Government of Niger in collaboration with many international conservation agencies. The reserve has also been declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site for the biodiversity value of the Termit Massif and surrounding Sahara Desert and for the cultural value of its archaeological sites.The reserve has 30 species of mammals, several species of reptiles and more than 150 species of birds; among the bird species recorded is the threatened lappet-faced vulture which breeds in small pockets in several areas of the reserve.

Wildlife of Niger

The wildlife of Niger is composed of its flora and fauna. The wildlife protected areas in the country total about 8.5 million hectares (21 million acres), which is 6.6% of the land area of the country, a figure which is expected to eventually reach the 11% percent target fixed by the IUCN with addition of more areas under the reserve category. The dama gazelle (Gazella dama or Nanger dama) has become a national symbol. Under the Hausa name meyna or ménas the dama appears on the badge of the Niger national football team, who are popularly called the Ménas.There are 136 mammal species in Niger, of which 2 are critically endangered, 2 are endangered, 9 are vulnerable, and 1 is near-threatened. One of the species listed for Niger can no longer be found in the wild. Bird Life International has reported 528 species of birds of which three are globally threatened and one is an introduced species; many species may be yet to be discovered in the rich avifauna seen here in spite of thin vegetation.Conservation of wildlife is ensured by laws and regulations enacted by the Government of Niger, which has enforced a permanent ban on hunting so that animals such as lions, hippos and giraffes are safe in the wild. The arrival of Abdim's storks (Ciconia abdimiiis) heralds the impending monsoon season giving a signal to farmers to till the land for agricultural operations.The Iullemeden, an aquifer rich in ground water resources, underlies Niger and its neighbors Mali and Nigeria and is being closely monitored; these countries are jointly attempting to stop its overexploitation, which is causing not only lowering of ground water levels but also the reduction of storage in the Lake Chad and perennial flows of the Niger River on which wildlife of the country is largely dependent.

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