Status and Trends of Biodiversity
Chad is distinguished into 3 large bioclimatic zones: 1) The Saharan zone which covers 600,350 km2. The vegetation in this zone is typical steppe type and is only present in the plains and the oasis. 2) The Sahelian zone which is characterized as shrubby savannah, and marked with very open, woody formations. 3) The Sudanic zone which has a surface area of 193,080 km2. Vegetation here is comprised essentially of 2 formations: the clear forest and the planted forest. Chad’s surface water is comprised mainly of 2 main rivers, the Chari (1200km long) and the Logone (1000km long), as well as several small, semi-permanent and temporary waterways and several lakes. A species of blue-green algae (Spirulina platensis), which is sought after worldwide, is found naturally in the Lake Chad basin. According to the interim report on biodiversity, conducted at the national level, we estimate in Chad: 4318 plant species, with 71 endemic and 11 threatened species, 15 mammal species, 4 bird species and the crocodiles all integrally protected. In addition, 21 mammal and 8 bird species are partially protected. Of the 772 animal species, endemics include the black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis), the African manatee (Trichechus senegalensis), the Oryx gazelle (Oryx gazelle dammah), the domesticated cattle without humps (Bos taurus typicus) and the River Prinia (Prinia fluviatilis).
Number and Extent of Protected Areas
Chad has 2 National parks (414,000ha), 7 wildlife reserves (11,675,300ha), 1 biosphere reserve (195,000ha), 10 ranked forests and 10 game reserves (11,250,800ha) that comprise 10% of the total, national surface area. The Zakouma Park, which has a surface area of 300,000ha, has maintained its biological diversity and is one of the richest protected areas in the country, despite all the climatic and anthropogenic hazards. Manda Park, classified in 1965, with an area of 114,000ha, was once rich in flora and fauna species, but today is a small forest island with the flora relatively well conserved, but with a largely reduced fauna. The wildlife reserves of the Sudanic zone (Barh Salamat, Siniaka-Mini) have a surface area of about 426,000ha and play an important conservation role, in spite of the demographic pressures placed on them. The Sahelian zone wildlife reserves (Ouadi Rimé, Ouadi Hachim) have a surface area of 80,000ha, but have lost a majority of their species due to lack of protection from anthropogenic activities, as well as dramatic climate changes.