The Scimitar-horned oryx (Oryx dammah) was historically found to be ranging throughout North Africa. However, Scimitar-horned oryx have been listed by the IUCN as extinct in the wild since 2000 and today the species only exists in captivity and as semi-wild populations in protected areas. The extinction of the Scimitar-horned oryx in the wild is thought to be due to a variety of factors includinghabitat destruction, hunting by humans, and competition for their food source with domestic livestock.
The Technical Assessment Panel (TAP) assessed Scimitar-horned oryx as being not dangerous to humans, having a moderate risk of establishment and low consequence (risk that an established population would cause harm) if they established in Tasmania. Consequently, the TAP assessment concluded that the risk posed by importing Scimitar-horned oryx into Tasmania is moderate.
Following the initial risk assessment, the Department considers permitting the importation of animals assessed as ‘moderate risk’ into the State as long as appropriate mitigation measures, enforced through a wildlife exhibition licence, can be identified and applied.
Mitigation options to reduce the risk associated with importing Scimitar-horned oryx include:
Limiting importation to registered wildlife parks or zoos to ensure the holding facility meets the stringent keeping standards Tasmania applies to all institutions.
Requiring any wildlife park or zoo to submit a Scimitar-horned oryx species management plan (including enclosure details) prior to import.
The wildlife exhibition facility can clearly demonstrate they have proficient keepers for that particular species.