In February 2005 a survey confirmed the existence of Critically Endangered dama gazelle Gazella dama in south Tamesna, eastern Mali. Two zones, covering an area of 1,775 km2, were systematically surveyed. Seven gazelles were seen and evidence was found of 18 additional individuals, giving an estimated density of 0.047 gazelles km−2. The dama gazelles are taking refuge in places where it is difficult to drive because of a strongly-marked relief and the presence of grassy tussocks. Preliminary genetic analysis of faeces indicates that these gazelles belong to the subspecies Gazella dama dama. These populations are of particular importance for the conservation of the dama gazelle, and an aerial survey has been planned to confirm the terrestrial observations. The government of Mali has, however, already decided to create three protected areas in Tamesna for the conservation of the dama gazelle and Vulnerable dorcas gazelle Gazella dorcas.