Oasis Park Fuerteventura and The Superior Council of Scientific Investigations (CSIC) in Tunisia have renewed their commitment to the project to reintroduce Cuvier's Gazelle in the National Park of Sebel Serj.
Coinciding with the first anniversary of this public-private initiative between Spanish organizations and the Tunisian government, we have presented the documentary "Vuelta a casa" or “Back Home” at the Cervantes Institute in the city of Tunis. The film deals with the project that in October 2015 allowed us to reintroduce into its natural habitat within the national park, 43 specimens of this animal, extinct in the area for decades, and its subsequent reproduction has already began in freedom. It is directed by wildlife nature documentary maker Alberto Redondo.
The act was attended by Lázaro Cabrera, Manager of Oasis Park Fuerteventura, and Guacimara Cabrera, Communications Director. In addition, the event took place with the participation of Boubaker Karai, Cabinet Chief of the Ministry of Agriculture, Hydraulic Resources and Fisheries of Tunisia; Salem Triki, Director General of Forests; Alberto Ucelay Urech, Vice-Ambassador of Spain in Tunisia; as well as other high positions within the Ministry of National Defense and representatives of the Cervantes Institute, together with other local authorities. All of them agreed on the importance of the return of the species, symbol of the country, in Tunisian territory. Their presence comes to reinforce, even more if it is possible, this initiative of great transcendence at environmental level for both countries.
The Cuvier's Gazelle is a species in serious risk of extinction and there are only about 800 specimens remaining in the world, hence the need to launch a project with these characteristics. Its success is confirmed by the results that the research team of the CSIC, led by Eulalia Moreno, has been able to collect during their time in the country: since May of this year, the month in which the first birth was registered in freedom as a result of the reintroduced gazelles, 27 births have been counted of the highly threatened species of which 50% were twins. Of these, 23 animals have survived, which implies a tremendously high birth and survival rate that shows that the consanguinity of the species has not been a handicap for its perfect development and reproduction in its natural habitat.
Our Director of Conservation, Soraya Cabrera, notes that “the birth and development of 23 Cuvier gazelles released is a success and giant step to achieve the ultimate goal of the project to restore viable populations for the recovery of this drastically threatened species”.