Named PICODE (Integrated Conservation Program for Development), this program aims to promote the economic, social and cultural development of the human populations, while protecting the very diverse wildlife heritage of Djibouti. It links strongly together conservation and development.
This pilot project wishes to restore the animal and historical heritage of the Republic of Djibouti, to use it as a lever to conserve and restore the country’s biodiversity, at the benefit of its inhabitants.
In the heart of the DECAN sanctuary, a real wildlife shelter stretching over 30 hectares, an education centre, mainly financed by Beauval Nature, has been built. It enables the association to welcome students and local or international researchers, to take wildlife conservation actions.
At the same time, a network of rangers has been created and two protected areas have open: one at Djalelo for geneluks, also known as giraffe gazelles, and the other at Addoua-Bouralé, for beira antelopes.
LThe Beauval Nature representatives, the Djiboutian government and the local authorities have got enthusiastic about the success of the project. The government has thus allocated 600 extra hectares to DECAN, in order to help it develop its projects and manage the marine reserve facing the sanctuary.
In 2012, a meeting for conservation of the Djiboutian land fauna initiated by Beauval Nature has taken place on site. This meeting has brought together the main institutions and conservation actors, like the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), the CBSG (Conservation Breeding Specialist Group), the EAZA (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria) and the Djiboutian government, and many conservation associations working in Djibouti, like DECAN and TER_RES. This meeting aimed to coordinate the efforts of each of these actors, in order to gain recognition and validation of ongoing programs by international conservation bodies. An action plan has been drawn up for some paramount Djiboutian species, like the whale shark or the Somali wild ass.
Operation “back to Africa”
In the context of this program carried out in Djibouti, the ZooParc de Beauval has organized the reintroduction of several individuals of indigenous species that have become very rare or extinct in the country. Thus, in 2009, a first group of animals coming from Beauval has been released on Djiboutian territory, in the heart of the DECAN sanctuary:
- 7 Somali wild asses, a species classified as “critically endangered by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) that has become extinct in Djibouti
- 2 Grévy’s zebras, a species that has become extinct in Djibouti for a hundred years
- <2 East African oryxes, a species still living in Djibouti, but in very low numbers
Other animals have also joined the sanctuary in 2005, thus increasing the number of individuals on site:
- 3 Grévy’s zebras from the Port Lympne Zoo (UK)
- 2 male East African oryxes from the Palmyre and Prague Zoos (France and Czech Republic)
- 2 female East African oryxes from the ZooParc de Beauval, in collaboration with the Montpellier Zoo.