Modern weapons and vehicles has made it easy for humans to hunt the Addax Antelope. This together with habitat destruction because of grazing from domesticated animals and search for oil in the Sahara has pushed the Addax to the verge of extinction in the wild. It is now listed as critically endangered by IUCN.
Little is known about the exact numbers and distribution of the Addax antelopes that are still left in the wild. But it’s unlikely that there are more than 500 animals left and it’s possible that the number is less than 200. A major difficulty in estimating the number of Addaxes left in the wild is the unstable political situation in the whole area. Large areas of lawless land with bandits, extremists and rebels make it near impossible to do safe conservation work. Most western countries currently advice from any travel in the area. Unless the political situation improves the future for the last wild Addaxes is very uncertain. Another difficulty in the work is the Addaxes nomadic nature. Covering huge areas following the rains in search of new feeding grounds makes it difficult to monitor them and to keep them protected from poaching.
1. The only larger herds of Addax in recent years have been spotted in Niger and it seems to be the last stronghold for the species. These animals live in the south eastern part of the country in the Termit-Toumma region. Studies in recent years suggest that between 100 and 200 Addaxes live in this area. A protected reserve has now been created to protect them, read more about it on the conservation page.
2. The so called Addax Sanctuary in Aïr-Ténéré National Reserve in the northwestern part of the country has long been an important area for the Addax, but conflicts in the area has led to lack of protection of the reserve. There might still be some Addaxes left in the Addax Sanctuary but there hasn’t been any reliable spottings in the past few years. The few investigations of wildlife that have been performed in Aïr-Ténéré have indicated a dramatic decrease of larger mammals in the area.
3. Little is known about the status of the Addax around the border of Mali and Mauritania but hoof prints of several individuals have been found in this area in recent years. Addaxes have also been spotted in central Mauritania in recent years. This is an insecure area and therefor little data is available.
4. Chad was til not so long ago thought to hold perhaps a few hundred Addaxes. It is however very unclear how many still roam around the country today but Addaxes and traces of Addaxes are occasionally spotted in the country.
5. Northern Sudan also used to hold a significant number of Addaxes in the past. But the ongoing wars and political conflicts in the country might have led to the extinction of the Addax there. There is no reliable data available from Sudan and hopefully some Addaxes have survived these difficult conditions.
6. It’s very unlikely that Algeria and Libya hold any large resident addax population but individuals might occasionally cross the border from Mali and Niger during summer in search for food.
7. Morocco has an ongoing reintroduction project. Addaxes have been moved from the Souss Massa National Park to Dakhla National Park in Western Sahara. Read more on the conservation page.
8. Tunisia, like Morocco, has an ongoing reintroduction project that’s taking place in Djebil National Park and Senghar National Park. Read more on the conservation page.