Campaign to stop oil exploration in Virunga National Park

Alex here again, and after the success of the okapi conservation strategy workshop I’m afraid I have some rather less cheerful news. Oil exploration permits covering 85% of Virunga National Park, including the okapi’s habitat within the northern sector of the park, were granted in 2010, and plans for oil exploration within the park are now set to go ahead. This could have terrible consequences for wildlife within the park, with pollution, deforestation and an increase in the park’s human population all likely.

Our partner WWF has launched the ‘Draw The Line’ campaign to counter the threat posed by oil exploration to Virunga National Park and its wildlife. See their website here for more information and please sign your name in support of the campaign. Every name helps to show governments and businesses how strongly people feel about protecting the homes of rare and beautiful animals like the okapi.

 

Virunga, where ZSL has been working since 2001, is the oldest national park in Africa. It contains rainforest, savannah, lakes and rivers, active volcanoes, glaciers and over 3,000 species of rare and beautiful wildlife including okapi. The presence of okapi here was only reconfirmed in 2008 by ZSL-led camera trap surveys, after not being officially recorded for 50 years, and oil exploration in the area could be the final straw for the already small and increasingly isolated population. Other species living in the park include elephants, hippos, lions, chimpanzees and a quarter of the world’s critically endangered mountain gorillas. WWF has released this video showing the great beauty of Virunga and what could be lost if oil exploration is allowed to go ahead:

 

Virunga, where ZSL has been working since 2001, is the oldest national park in Africa. It contains rainforest, savannah, lakes and rivers, active volcanoes, glaciers and over 3,000 species of rare and beautiful wildlife including okapi. The presence of okapi here was only reconfirmed in 2008 by ZSL-led camera trap surveys, after not being officially recorded for 50 years, and oil exploration in the area could be the final straw for the already small and increasingly isolated population. Other species living in the park include elephants, hippos, lions, chimpanzees and a quarter of the world’s critically endangered mountain gorillas. WWF has released this video showing the great beauty of Virunga and what could be lost if oil exploration is allowed to go ahead:

You can also read more on this blog: http://biofreshblog.com/

Select a blog

ZSL London Zoo

A blog for lovers of ZSL London Zoo, bringing you extraordinary animal facts and exclusive access to the world's oldest scientific zoo.

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Do you love wildlife? Discover more about our amazing animals at the UK's biggest zoo!

Conservation

We're working around the world to conserve animals and their habitats, find out more about our latest achievements.

Science

From the field to the lab, catch up with the scientists on the cutting edge of conservation biology at ZSL’s Institute of Zoology.

Education

A day in Discovery and Learning at ZSL is never dull! The team tell us all about the exciting sessions for school children, as well as work further afield.

Working for Wildlife

Ever wondered what a typical day as a zookeeper looks like, or what it's like to be a videographer at ZSL? Now you can find out!

Artefact of the month

Every month, one of the pieces held in ZSL’s Library and at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo will feature here as Artefact of the Month.

Wild About Magazine

Read extracts from ZSL's award winning members' magazine, Wild About.

ZSL Shop

Get updates on our latest ranges, be the first to hear about special offers, and find the perfect gift for animal lovers!

Chagos Expedition

The Chagos archipelago is a rare haven for marine biodiversity. Hear from the team about our projects to protect the environments in the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT).

Asia Conservation Programme

ZSL works across Asia, from the famous national parks of Nepal to marine protected areas in the Philippines. Read the latest updates on our conservation.

Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation

An Open Access journal for research at the interface of remote sensing, ecology and conservation.