The North African and Arabian desert environments are important for the large area of the globe that they cover, for their beauty and rich cultures and for the economic impact of the vital mineral resources they harbour.
Although we tend to think of them as remote wilderness areas, there has been a heavy impact of our pursuit of those resources across this region. Saharan Africa has lost more of its birds and mammals than any other region of the Palaearctic (Europe, Africa and Asia).
ZSL’s desert conservation programme uses management, community and species-led approaches to lessen these impacts, build local capacity and integrate conservation with development for desert communities and ecosystems.
Find out more about desert conservation
Pan-Saharan Wildlife Survey
The Pan Saharan Wildlife Survey (PSWS) was started in 2009 by the Sahara Conservation Fund (SCF) and ZSL, with funding from the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. Its goal is to bring together information of the status of biodiversity across the vast Saharan region.
Find out more about the PSWS
Saharan Antelope: Tunisia
The expertise of ZSL conservationists is put to good use in the Sahelo-Saharan region. We have carried out extensive wildlife surveys, advised on antelope management and set up projects to educate and empower local communities and organisations to protect wildlife. Find out more
Breeding Antelope in Saudi Arabia
Antelope are crucial to desert ecosystems. Without them, the biodiversity of the region suffers. ZSL manages breeding programmes at the King Khalid Wildlife Research Centre in Saudi Arabia and have had great success.
Find out more about antelope breeding
Desert Conservation Reports
Conservation Scientists from ZSL and partner organisations are calling on politicians at the Rio +20 Summit to keep desert and drylands habitats in mind and protect these fragile ecosystems.
Antelope surveys: Termit
We are using cutting edge techniques in bio-monitoring to survey the last wild pockets of biodiversity in the Sahelo Saharan region, for example in Termit in Niger.
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