Ouadi Rimé-Ouadi Achim Faunal Reserve
|Ouadi Rimé–Ouadi Achim Faunal Reserve|
IUCN category IV (habitat/species management area)
|Nearest city||Batha, Chad|
|Area||77,950 km2 (30,100 sq mi)|
The Ouadi Rimé-Ouadi Achim Faunal Reserve, is located in the Batha administrative region in the center of Chad. It an IUCN Category IV area, which was established in 1969. At 77,950 kilometres (48,435.88 mi) –equivalent to the size of Scotland- it is one of the largest reserves in the world.
The Ouadi Rimé–Ouadi Achim, covering three habitats of Sahelian wooded grassland, sub-desert grassland (covers about 66% of the area), and desert, and is one of the largest reserves in Chad. Its terrain with an elevation range of 180–250 metres (590–820 ft) has no prominent features except for an isolated patch of a remnant of volcanic eruption. It has a long dune cordon called the Goz Kerky that runs through the reserve in a north-south direction. The eastern part of the reserve has massifs which rise to a height of 1,500 metres (4,900 ft) which drain a number of streams that flow through the reserve. The reserve also flood plains which are inundated temporarily and along with the streams help in creation of the biodiversity of the reserve. Rainfall in the reserve mostly during July–September varies widely with the Sahelian wooded grassland recording a mean annual rainfall in the range of 105–980 millimetres (4.1–38.6 in), the sub-desert grassland zone recording rainfall in the range of 43–570 millimetres (1.7–22.4 in) and the desert with scanty rainfall in the range of 0–73 millimetres (0.0–2.9 in).
Acacia senegal, Balanites aegyptiaca, Combretum glutinosum and Boscia senegalensis are the plant types in the Sahelian grassland. Plant species Aristida mutabilis, Chloris prieurii and Cenchrus biflorus, herbs Limeum viscosum, Indigofera hochstetteri and Blepharis linariifolia are recorded in the desert zone; the dune depressions have Acacia tortilis. Also noted are clumps of Cornulaca monacantha in the deserts.
Faunal species noted are dama gazelle (Gazella dama, EN), Dorcas gazelle (Gazella dorcas, VU), red-fronted gazelle (Gazella rufifrons, VU), Sudan cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus soemmeringii, VU) and addax (Addax nasomaculatus, VU) but the presence of the last two species is now in doubt. The scimitar oryx had its last stronghold in this reserve before going eventually going extinct in the wild. Subsequently, a reintroduction program for the species selected Ouadi Rimé-Ouadi Achim to reintroduce it in the wild; as a result, since 2016 a small herd is living within the reserve limits.
Avi fauna reported includes 267 bird species and also three species of the Sudan–Guinea Savanna biome. During the rainy season migrant Palearctic waterbirds flock to the streams in large numbers.
Though created primarily to protect the fauna in the reserve there are hardly any personnel posted for the purpose. The problem of water shortage due to reduced incidence of rainfall deep tube wells has provided the needed water sources. However, hunting is widely prevalent. Falcon hunters from Persian Gulf who to visit the reserve for hunting of bustards and gazelles have been prevented from operating in the reserve under local pressure.