The Derby eland (Taurotragus derbianus) is the largest antelope in the world. The western subspecies of the Derby eland (Taurotragus derbianus derbianus) is critically endangered with less than 200 individuals living in wild. This remaining population lives only in the Niokolo Koba National Park. In response to their dwindling numbers, the Western Derby eland (WDE) conservation programme was established in 2000 and is led by the NGO Derbianus Conservation. The NGO was established as a collaboration of pedagogues, students from the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague and other specialists and conservation enthusiasts. Thanks to their activities and long-term Senegalese-Czech cooperation, there are now now more than 100 living individuals of Western Derby eland in semi-captivity in natural reserves Bandia and Fathala.
In 2000, the capture of WDE was conducted in Niokolo Koba National Park, Senegal where the last remaining wild population of WDE exists. The six individuals captured became the founder population for WDE conservation. The population has been breeding in the fenced area of Bandia reserve since 2002. A second population was established from Bandia reserve in 2006 in the Fathala reserve. A team of Czech researchers and specialists from the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague have ensured that new born calves are identified and transports of chosen individuals to new breeding herds have been carried out. The team has been supervising the genetic and demographic parameters of the WDE population and a WDE Studbook has been published every year. These activities had been financed from Czech development aid and research grants up to 2009. In 2010 the members of the Czech team working on WDE conservation founded NGO Derbianus Conservation, in order to be able to carry on its activities now guaranteed by private and legal persons.
The Western derby eland conservation programme is based on three principles. The first is population management. The core of the conservation effort was the semi-captive population held in the reserves at Bandia and Fathala in Senegal. This contained six founding individuals (1 male and 5 females). Due to the close genetic relatedness within their offspring, breeding herds had to be carefully established by putting the least related females and males together. Further monitoring of interconnections is imperative to maintain a healthy population. Therefore, annual new born calf identification, studbook coordination and the transfer of breeding individuals are an indispensable part of our work.
Research is another essential part of our work and the second principle. It is linked to the ecology and behaviour of the animals. This allows us to better understand and conserve this species and its habitat.
The continuity of the conservation programme is ensured by a third principle which centres on education. Education activities are not only focused on the Senegalese population, but also on providing information to the Czech public.
Nowadays, more than 100 WDE individuals are to be found in the two Senegalese natural reserves Bandia and Fathala. In 2015 a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Ministers of Environment of the Czech Republic and Senegal. The Memorandum addresses the collaboration of environmental protection focussing particularly on the critically endangered Western Derby eland. The Czech University of life Sciences Prague together with Derbianus Conservation was officially appointed as executor of this Memorandum by the Czech Ministry of Environment. In the same year, Derbianus Conservation became a member of the European Association of Zoo´s and Aquariums (EAZA). However, all the efforts of the Czech team should not outweigh the importance of the destiny of the eland, whose future is still uncertain and it is therefore necessary to keep working on its protection.
The Derby eland (Taurotragus derbianus) together with the Common eland (Taurotragus oryx) is the biggest antelope on the planet. Both, males and females have long spiralling horns that can reach more than a meter in length. Each individual can be distinguished according to the characteristic stripes on its body. They can carry 11 to 17 stripes on each side, the number and shape of these stripes does not change during the individual's lifetime. A distinctive and contrasting black and white dewlap appears just under the jaw-line and the ears are rounded. The males are bigger and more robust than the females.
The Derby eland has two subspecies that differ in area of distribution and conservation status. The Eastern subspecies of the Derby eland (Taurotragus derbianus gigas, Heuglin, 1863) originally spread to Nigeria, Cameron, Chad, the Central Republic of Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire) north as far as Sudan and Uganda. Nowadays, approximately 14,000 individuals remain in Cameroon, the Central Republic of Africa and Sudan. It is recognized by the IUCN as “least concerned” despite the numbers cited seeming to be overestimated according to recent information.
The Western subspecies of Derby eland (Taurotragus derbianus derbianus, Gray, 1847) used to spread across Senegal, Gambia, Guinea- Bissau, Mali, Sierra Leone, the Ivory Coast, Tog and Ghana at the beginning of last century. In 1990 the population of the Western Derby eland was estimated as 1,000 individuals. According to the current estimations, the last 100-200 of wild individuals remain in the Niokolo Koba national park in Senegal. Poaching, livestock overgrazing and other human activities has had the greatest negative impact on this population.
No-one else but you can contribute to Derby eland protection! Contribute by purchasing a Derby eland souvenir, leaving a financial gift or by becoming a member of the Derbianus Conservation team. Have you started to care about the Derby eland's future, or do you find the Czech role in the survival of this endangered species fascinating? You can join us and go step by step towards the rescue of this endangered species with us. Visit the website http://www.derbianus.cz and find out more.
Brandlová K., Gloneková M., Hejcmanová P., Jůnková Vymyslická P., Aebischer T., Hickisch R., Mallon D., 2017. Chinko/Mbari drainage basin represents a conservation hotspot for Eastern Derby eland in Central Africa. African Journal of Ecology. 58(2):194-201.
Grúňová M., Sané M., Cincera J., Kroufek R., Hejcmanová P., 2018. Reliability of the new environmental paradigm for analysing the environmental attitudes of Senegalese pupils in the context of conservation education projects. Environmental Education Research. 24(1):1-11.
Grúňová M., Brandlová K., Svitálek J., Hejcmanová P., 2017. Environmental education supports conservation action by increasing the immediate and long-term environmental knowledge of children in West Africa, Applied Environmental Education & Communication. 1 (16): 3-16. DOI: 10.1080/1533015X.2016.1273153
Zemanová H., Černá Bolfíková B., Brandlová K., Hejcmanová P., Hulva P. 2015 Conservation genetics of the Western Derby eland (Taurotragus derbianus derbianus) in Senegal: integration of pedigree and microsatellite data. Mammalian Biology 80(4): 328-332.
Jůnek T., Jůnková Vymyslická P., Hozdecká K., Hejcmanová P., 2015. Application of Spatial and Closed Capture-Recapture Models on Known Population of the Western Derby Eland (Taurotragus derbianus derbianus) in Senegal. PLoS One, 10(9): 1-16.
Jůnková Vymyslická P., Brandlová, K., Žáčková, M., Hozdecká, P., Hejcmanová, P., 2015: Feeding rank in the Derby eland: lessons for management. African Zoology, 50 (4): 313-320.
Žáčková M., Hejcmanová P., Hejcman M., 2013. Does a change in land use affect woody vegetation in sub-humid sudanian savanna in Senegal? Scientia Agriculturae Bohemica, 44 (4): 209-217.
Hejcmanová P., Jůnková Vymyslická P., Žáčková M., Hejcman M., 2013. Does supplemental feeding affect behaviour and foraging of critically endangered western giant eland in an ex situ conservation site? African Zoology, 48 (2): 250-258. ISSN: 1562-7020.
Máca O., 2012. Description of a new species of Eimeria Schneider, 1875 (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) from the western Derby eland Taurotragus derbianus derbianus Gray (Artiodactyla: Bovidae) in Senegal. Systematic Parasitology 82(2): 121-123
Koláčková K., Hejcmanová P., Antonínová M., Brandl P., 2011. Population management as a tool in the recovery of the critically endangered Western Derby eland Taurotragus derbianus in Senegal, Africa. Wildlife Biology 17(3): 299-310.
Hejcmanová P., Vymyslická P., Koláčková K., Antonínová M., Havlíková B., Stejskalová M., Policht R., Hejcman M., 2009. Suckling behavior of eland antelopes (Taurotragus spp.) under semi-captive and farm conditions. Journal of Ethology 29(1): 161-168.
Brandlová K., Fedorova T., Grúňová M., Hejcmanová P., Kubátová A., Štochlová K. (Eds.). 2017. African Studbook. Western Derby Eland, Taurotragus derbianus derbianus (Gray, 1847), volume 10, Prague: Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, 90 pp. ISBN: 978-80-213-2836-5.
Brandlová K., Jůnková Vymyslická P., Kubátová A., Žáčková M., Grúňová M., Fedorova T., 2016. African Studbook. Western Derby Eland, Taurotragus derbianus derbianus (Gray, 1847), volume 9, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, 86 pp.
Brandlová K., Jůnková Vymyslická P., Žáčková M., Švejcarová M., Hejcmanová P., Fedorova P., 2015. African Studbook. Western Derby eland, Taurotragus derbianus derbianus (Gray, 1847). Praha: Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, 2015, 121 p. ISBN 978-80-213-2582-1.
Brandlová K., Mallon D., Hejcmanová P., Regnaut S., Jůnková Vymyslická P., Fedorova T., Žáčková M., Brandl P., Ndiaye S., 2013. Western Derby eland (Taurotragus derbianus derbianus) Conservation Strategy. Prague: Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, 2013, 111 p. ISBN 978-80-213-2397-1.
Selected BSc. Thesis:
Holubová Z., 2016. The influence of genealogical characteristics on Derby elands’ striping. BSc. Thesis, Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague.
Roubal J., 2016. Influence of commercial hunting and poaching to the numbers of Eastern Giant eland (Taurotragus derbianus gigas). BSc. Thesis, Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague.
Swiacká M., 2015. Comparison of population characteristics of genus Taurotragus. BSc. Thesis, Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague.
Švejcarová M., 2014. Derby eland (Taurotragus derbianus) in captivity: studbook analyses. B.Sc. thesis, Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague.
Selected MSc. Thesis:
Neštický V., 2017. Calf sex ratio of captive eland populations. M.Sc. Thesis, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, 46 pp.
Švejcarová M., 2017. Home range and habitat use of Eastern Derby eland (Taurotragus derbianus gigas) in Chinko Project area, Central African Republic. MSc. Thesis, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague. 39 pp.
Sané M., 2016. Environmental knowledge and attitudes: does it differ in urban and rural areas. MSc. Thesis, Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague.
Karafiátová A., 2016. Diet quality of large herbivores across continents. MSc. Thesis, Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague.
Stoklasová L., 2016. Soils in Africa as source of mineral nutrition for large herbivores. MSc. Thesis, Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague.
Štochlová K., 2016. Phylogeny and population characteristics of Derby eland (Taurotragus derbianus). MSc. Thesis, Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague.
Kučerová O., 2015. Dynamics of diet quality of large herbivores in Senegal. MSc. Thesis, Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague.
Böhmová Z., 2013. Coat pattern of Western Derby eland (Taurotragus derbianus derbianus) – an evidence for heritability? M.Sc. thesis, Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague.
Lutovská B., 2012. Taxonomic comparison of Derby eland and common eland (Taurotragus sp.). M.Sc. Thesis, Institute of Tropics and Subtropics, Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague.
Máca O., 2012. The Parasite fauna of some domestic and wild ruminant species in Bandia and Fathala reserves in Senegal. M.Sc. Thesis, Institute of Tropics and Subtropics, Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague.
Selected PhD. Thesis:
Zemanová H., 2015. Genetic Diversity of Semi-captive Population of Western Derby Eland (Taurotragus derbianus derbianus) in Senegal and Phylogenetical Relationships between Western Derby Eland (T. derbianus derbianus) and Eastern Giant Eland (T. derbianus gigas). Ph.D. Thesis, Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague.
Žáčková M., 2014. Impact of management on African savanna ecosystems. Ph.D. Thesis, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague.
In 2018, the 11th edition of the studbook of the critically endangered Western Derby eland (African Studbook for the Western Derby eland Taurotragus derbianus derbianus) was published. This series of studbooks is internationally recognized in several aspects. First of all, it is a unique tool for the management of small population of this endangered taxon, kept in the semi-captive conditions in the two fenced nature reserves of Bandia and Fathala in Senegal. Thanks to the annual fieldwork, each individual is documented in detail, its relatedness to other animals in the population is identified, and its conservation value is calculated. It should be noted that in the wild, there is maximum of two hundred of these animals (only in the Niokolo Koba National Park in Senegal) and the back-up population in the reserves, which is based on six individuals captured in Niokolo Koba in 2000, currently contains 118 animals. Thanks to the perfect mapping of their pedigrees supplemented with genetic analyses, we can maximize the potential of breeding individuals and establish breeding herds to minimize inbreeding and maximize the use of rare and less widespread genetic variants. The studbook is also unique in terms of the quality of the data used. Only a few other strictly managed conservation breeding programmes of the world's zoos can boast 97% of the known pedigree. The importance of the studbook at the local level lies mainly in the education and training of local workers and nature conservation experts in Senegal, where similar expertise in the management of small populations of large ungulates is rather absent. In the last two decades, the Czech team from the Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences of the CZU has been the only entity on the international scale that has been actively involved in the Derby eland conservation. Without active studbook and subsequent breeding herd management, the Western Derby eland population in the reserves would lost of most of its value for conservation.
|WDE-African Studbook 2018 wde-african-studbook-2018.pdf||Size 1.45 MB||Updated on 19.09.2019||Download file|
|WDE-African Studbook 2017 wde-african-studbook-2017.pdf||Size 3.69 MB||Updated on 19.09.2019||Download file|
|WDE-African Studbook 2016 wde-african-studbook-2016.pdf||Size 2.35 MB||Updated on 19.09.2019||Download file|
|WDE-African studbook 2015 wde-african-studbook-2015.pdf||Size 3.44 MB||Updated on 19.09.2019||Download file|
|WDE-African Studbook 2014 wde-african-studbook-2014.pdf||Size 7.11 MB||Updated on 19.09.2019||Download file|
|WDE Conservation Strategy+African Studbook 2013 wde-conservation-strategy-african-studbook-2013.pdf||Size 2.56 MB||Updated on 19.09.2019||Download file|
|WDE-African Studbook 2012 wde-african-studbook-2012.pdf||Size 3.49 MB||Updated on 19.09.2019||Download file|
|WDE-AfricanStudbook 2011 wde-africanstudbook-2011.pdf||Size 1.39 MB||Updated on 19.09.2019||Download file|
|WDE-AfricanStudbook_2010 wde-africanstudbook-2010.pdf||Size 7.87 MB||Updated on 19.09.2019||Download file|
|WDE-African Studbook 2009 wde-african-studbook-2009.pdf||Size 5.93 MB||Updated on 19.09.2019||Download file|
|WDE-AfricanStudbook 2008 wde-africanstudbook-2008.pdf||Size 5.73 MB||Updated on 19.09.2019||Download file|