With two national parks, five game reserves, and one Wetland of International Importance, 9% of Chad's natural areas are protected. The chief environmental problem is increasing desertification after a decade marked by below-normal rainfall and periodic droughts. Warring factions in Chad have damaged the environment and hampered the efforts of the government to address environmental problems for 25 years. Locust swarms periodically cause crop damage. The availability of fresh water is also a major problem. Safe drinking water is available to 31% of urban dwellers and 26% of the rural population. About 82% of the nation's renewable water resources are used for farming activity.
Elephant herds were reported greatly decimated in the 1970s. As of the 2000, endangered species in Chad included the black rhinoceros, Dallon's gerbil, and African wild ass. The Sahara oryx, also called the scimitar-horned orynx, is extinct in the wild. Of 134 species of mammals in Chad, 14 are threatened with extinction. Three bird species out of 370 are also threatened. One reptile out of five and five plant species out of 1, 600 are in danger of extinction.