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Drying Up: Extinction in the Sahara

Tuesday, October 27, 2009 @ 7:30 PM-9:00 PM

Featured Speaker: Bill Houston, Assistant General Curator, Animal Division, Saint Louis Zoo

In the Sahara, the silent crisis of extinction is epitomized by the plight of the scimitar-horned oryx. This 300+ lb. antelope once roamed the Sahelo-Saharan zone in the tens of thousands, but vanished from the wild over 30 years ago with neither a whimper nor whisper of international alarm. Following closely in the oryx’s fading footprints is an entire suite of unique species exquisitely adapted to the desert including: addax antelope, dama gazelles, red-necked ostrich, desert cheetah; Sudan and Nubian bustards, striped hyena, sand cats, and desert foxes.

The Sahara Conservation Fund (SCF) is working to bring attention to the plight of Saharan wildlife and develop sustainable solutions to halt the decline of species. Until very recently this region of the world has been overlooked and under-funded by the world’s major aid agencies and conservation organizations. While local interest in conservation in many parts of the Sahara is good, this region contains many of the poorest nations on the planet. Saint Louis Zoo Animal Division Curator, Bill Houston, talks about how the Zoo, through its support of the SCF, has assisted the people of the Sahara in their efforts to conserve their vanishing wildlife.

Photo credit: Photo by John Newby, Sahara Conservation Fund

Free public seminars highlight conservation science and global conservation issues and efforts supported by the Saint Louis Zoo and other wildlife organizations. Junior Academy members, middle, and high school students are encouraged to attend. Reservations are not required.

All Conservation Conversations are held in the St. Louis Zoo Living World auditorium and parking is free in the Zoo North Lot.

Conservation Conversations Co-sponsored by:


Tuesday, October 27, 2009
7:30 PM-9:00 PM
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