The Government of Niger has approved the creation of the Termit Tin Toumma National Nature and Cultural Reserve. This 'hotspot' for desert biodiversity and home of the last population of addax in the wild is one of the largest protected areas in Africa. The mountain range of Termit and the adjoining sands of Tin Toumma are located in the east of Niger and are considered today as a key area for Sahelo-Saharan biodiversity, including some very threatened species such as the addax, the dama gazelle and the Saharan cheetah, and some regionally important populations of Dorcas gazelle, Barbary sheep and Lappet-faced vulture.
Since 2004 the Convention on Migratory Species has been supporting conservation activities in Niger under the framework of the Sahelo-Saharan Megafauna Concerted Action approved by the Conference of the Parties. With the support of the Fonds Français pour l’Environnement Mondial and the European Union, CMS has coordinated all the preliminary work for the designation of the Reserve in close cooperation with the Sahara Conservation Fund, the Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique and the Ministry of Water and Environment of Niger.
Oil exploration in the eastern part of the range, has limited the Reserve boundaries to set aside the area where human pressure is higher at the moment. Despite this shortfall the protected area still includes 97,000 km2 of some of the most valuable desert habitats in the world.
The designation of Termit as a National Nature and Cultural Reserve is a milestone for the Sahelo-Saharan biodiversity and the Government of Niger has to be congratulated for this outstanding achievement.
More information is available on the CMS website