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ImageWildlife of Chad revisited

“Animal and plant life correspond to the three climatic zones. In the Saharan region, the only flora is the date-palm groves of the oasis.”

What three climatic zones? Can you just write the sort of English that would get you a C, rather than a D, on a seventh grade essay?

“… Saharan region, Sahelian region, Sudanic zone …”

There are, the Saharan zone with its date palm grove oases, the Sahel with palms and acacias, and the Sudanic prairies. All wrong, of course.

The Saharan zone, as one can see from the topographic map of Chad, has mountains, this means it probably has Saharan montane ecosystems which include things beside date palm grove oases.

The Sahel is probably mixed grasslands, scrublands and Savanna, like the Sahel, in Africa, where Chad is, rather than just dates and acacias.

The Sudanic climatic zone, like the rest of Chad, is in continental tropical Africa, so, no, there are no prairies; prairies are temperate grasslands on generally deep soils. Temperate and tropical soils differ, as do their grasslands. The Sudanic zone, by the way, is the ecotone between the Sahel and the Guinean climate zone, the rain forest.

“Elephants, lions, buffalo, hippopotamuses, rhinoceroses, giraffes, antelopes, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, and many species of snakes are found here, although most large carnivore populations have been drastically reduced since the early 20th century.[1][3]”

All those mammals, plus snakes! Any birds, or other reptiles or amphibians or insects? And, after visiting the snakes, briefly, let’s get back to some of the mammals.

Let’s look at the vegetation.


“As of 2011, there were 2,288 species in the country, 55 of which are endemic.[2]”

2,288 species of what? Angiosperms? Plants? Plants and fungi? Native plants? And, go to the source and find out that the vast majority of these species (of plants) are native, a cool fact not mentioned in the en.Wikipedia article.

“Precipitation varies widely from south to north of the country with latitude.”

Are you sure it doesn’t vary widely from east to west with latitude?

Harmattan Winds are a feature in the northern part of the country.”

An unsourced statement that contradicts its own wikilink indicating these are West African trade winds. Maybe they meant the dust for the West African Harmattan trade winds comes from Chad? Can’t check the source, if there isn’t one.

“The vegetation in the country is broadly categorized under the three regions of the northern Sahara zone, the central Sahel zone, and the southern Sudan zone; all three zones are of equal proportion.[1] The northern part of the country which has the Sahara desert and which borders Libya and the volcanic massif of Tibesti (3,415 metres (11,204 ft)) forms part of the northern zone. Vegetation is dominantly tropical in the tropical zone of the country with deserts having least vegetative growth.”

Three regions, north to south, Sahara zone, Sahel zone, Sudan zone, equally sized. Northern Chad is Sahara and borders Libya and Tibesti. A little contradictory, because, actually the Tibesti massive is primarily in Chad rather than bordering it.

Now we have a fourth zone of vegetation, the tropical zone of the country, where vegetation is dominantly tropical. A little confusing because the tropics articles on en.Wikipedia shows that Chad is in the tropics. So, where in Chad is this fourth tropical zone of vegetation? And does this mean the tropics have the most and the desert the least vegetation?

I can’t even read the next five sentences. Meaningless strings of words spouting facts and factoids cherry-picked from various sources without any intent to do anything like create prose from the actual facts, avoid the information the editor can’t understand well enough to convey accurately, and string it all together in a logical and readable fashion.

However, I will point out that from the Sahara, the article moves to “, a large area of desert dunes lie between Lake Chad and the Ouaddai massif,” then to the Sahelian grasslands, so it seems the authors of the article think Lake Chad is in either northern or central Chad. 

The keep moving south (or north, south, north, central, south).

“The transition zone that lies between the southern Sahel and northern Sudan–Guinea is also a seasonal wetland.[1]”

What does the source say?

“Much of the area between Lake Chad and the Ouaddai massif is, except for parts of the centre-west where there are large expanses of dunes fringed by xerophytic scrubland, a vast, relatively featureless plain (300–400 m) supporting Sahelian grasslands. Much of this area is drained by the seasonal Batha river which originates from streams running westwards from the Ouaddai massif and which ultimately empties into the temporary wetlands around Lake Fitri (12°50’N 17°30’E). Indeed, an area of 10 million ha in the transition zone between the southern Sahel and northern Sudan–Guinea is subject to regular seasonal inundation.”

No, the entire ecotone between the Sahel and the northern Sudanic zone is not a seasonal wetland. Only some area of 10 million ha in the transition zone is.

Also, you don’t define Sudan-Guinea; is this a fifth climatic zone? Saharan, Sahel, Sudanic, tropical, Sudan-Guinea. I know what it is; do the en.Wikipedia editors of this article know?

“Lake Chad in the southwestern corner of Chad, bordering Niger and Nigeria, is one of the richest areas of flora in Chad, although it is a lake which has rapidly reduced in size of the last 100 years.”

If Lake Chad is in the southwestern corner of Chad, can you actually place it there on the map sitting right next to this sentence? And will you eliminate that other country, also?

“The well-drained soils of the area once supported areas of dense woodlands with ebony and kapok trees, but this has declined due to soil erosion and degradation.[3]”

Degradation of what? The soil? Okay, soil “erosion and degradation.” How did the degradation come about? What has declined, the dense woodland, the well-drained soils, the number of trees? The area now favors open rather than dense woodlands.


“As of 2002, there were at least 134 species of mammals and 532 species of birds (354 species of residents and 155 migrants) in Chad.[1]”

How come the bird numbers don’t add up? I know; so would most birders. Why doesn’t en.Wikipedia know and explain?

“Other species reported are; red-fronted gazelle, dorcas gazelle (Gazella rufifrons, Gazella dama, Gazella dorcas), patas monkey (Erythrocebus patas), striped hyena (Hyaena hyaena), cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus), caracal (Felis caracal), and wild dog an endangered species, African elephant (Loxodonta africana), otter (Lutra maculicollis), Aonyx capensis, sitatunga (Tragelaphus spekei) and kob (Kobus kob).”

We have antelope, antelope, monkey, hyena, cat, cat, wild dog, elephant, otter, otter, antelope.

Wild dog is a species in the source, but in the en.Wikipedia article, the editors removed the species and left it ambiguously unknown. It’s a species native to the Sahel, by the way. The source all sets the mammals in a logical order; many of these animals are Sahelian ecosystem mammals that are no longer as common, but others are mammals that are found in mesic ecosystems throughout Africa. The list fails to mention the hippos; and the way the text is located in the article it implies these are animals found in the preserves. Another failure to use a source. It’s either not sourced on en.Wikipedia, or, when it is, it is clear the en.Wikipedia editor could not read the source well enough to extract the information even when largely plagiarized.

Aqua fauna

“The Lake Chad has 179 species of fish and feed on vegetation growth due phytoplankton and zooplankton in the lake.”

And the Lake Chad feed on vegetation? Vegetation growth is due to phytoplankton and zooplankton? Not sunlight?

What does the source say?

“The seasonal influx of water combines with a seasonal increase in air temperature to yield decreased salinity, increased turbidity, and increased nutrient levels. These conditions catalyze blooms of phytoplankton and zooplankton, followed by the growth of larger vegetation.”

What this means is that with incoming waters as air temperature increases, you get lowered salinity and increased nutrients, and these nutrients allow the growth of plankton at first, then larger vegetation. Maybe bigger plants need more nutrients. Or something like that.

You can’t create an article by just collaging words and facts and factoids together. You have to understand the source, not just plagiarize from it. If you develop your article logically, you might catch some of your mistakes. I don’t blame you for not reading it; it’s unreadable; but, then, don’t publish it where ten thousand people will read it.fwest

A couple of editors pointed out that if they weren’t writing these articles about obscure places in Africa, no one would be. But, is it better to have misinformation than nothing? I’m voting for nothing.