A Species “Saved” from Extinction Is Born in BIOPARC Valencia
December 02, 2020
The third Mhorr gazelle that is born this year in the Valencian park is a great joy for the conservationist world that has literally prevented the tragic disappearance of this beautiful African antelope that is still in "critical danger" on the IUCN Red List.
BIOPARC Valencia is a true reserve of life and also of life in danger of extinction . Its active participation in more than 40 endangered species preservation programs (EEP) have, in just a few years, made it a reference center for various species and their genetic reserve. And a paradigmatic one is, without a doubt, the Mhorr gazelle ( Nanger dama mhorr ) also called Dama gazelle that became extinct in its habitat and has survived thanks to the intense efforts of conservationists and parks such as BIOPARC.
In 2014 the first females arrived at the park from Rotterdam (Holland) and in 2015 a male from Madrid to create a breeding group at BIOPARC Valencia within the International Conservation Program of this species classified as "critically endangered" by the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Numerous specimens have been born within this herd and many of them have been transferred to other parks to continue the very important challenge of definitively saving the emblematic Mhorr gazelle from extinction. This beautiful female is the third birth of this unusual year in which, in the middle of a period of confinement when the park was closed to the public, the first was born. That calf was a breath of hope for the BIOPARC team and for many people who value the importance of protecting each species to conserve the planet's biodiversity . And with this sentiment, by popular vote, that first calf was named Hope.
We can see the group in a multispecies enclosure in the savannah living with other antelopes, the addax ( Addax nasomaculatus ). Slender and with a bright coat of an intense reddish color, their white markings stand out on the face, throat and lower part of the body. Indiscriminate hunting killed them in their habitat and only the effort and vision of the future of Professor José Antonio Valverde prevented their extinction. The group of 11 gazelles that he transferred to Spain for their protection are the germ of a recovery that continues today. There is currently a population of more than 300 specimens living in various European, North American and South African zoological institutions . And the ambitious reintroduction plan continues in different projects in North Africa. This beautiful gazelle is an example of the necessary involvement of the conservation world in all areas. The cooperation for its conservation in situ and ex situ and the very important awareness of the population to motivate a change of attitude towards the protection of nature.