Protect West African Manatee from Oil Drilling

Target: Ministry of Environment and Nature Protection Director Justin Nantchou Ngoko

Goal: Protect the West African manatee by preventing oil companies from drilling in Cameroon’s Douala-Edéa Wildlife Reserve

Cameroon officials have proposed a plan to auction off licenses that would permit oil companies to drill in the Douala-Edéa Wildlife Reserve. This area is home to the threatened West African manatee and many other endangered or otherwise vulnerable animals, including alligators, antelope, chimpanzees, crocodiles, dolphins, forest elephants and sea turtlesas well as a variety of terrestrial and water birds. If Cameroon allows oil companies to drill in the Douala-Edéa Wildlife Reserve, this habitat could be severely damaged and the West African manatees’ chances of survival would decrease drastically as a result.

The West African manatee already faces a number of threats to its survival, including deadly strikes and net entrapment by fishing boats, and agricultural and urban development pollution. West African Manatees are also killed for their meat, while their bones are sold to make walking sticks and their oil is sold to cure ear infections, rheumatism and various skin conditions. They are also captured and sold to aquariums and zoos. In some instances, the West African manatee is even sold online as a household pet and shipped internationally.

By signing this petition, you will be urging the Cameroon Ministry of Environment and Nature Protection to stop plans to auction off licenses for oil drilling in wildlife reserves and to protect the West African manatees that call them home.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Director Ngoko,

I was shocked to learn that Cameroon is considering auctioning off licenses that would permit select oil companies to drill in the Douala-Edéa Wildlife Reserve. This area is home to a variety of unique wildlife, some of which are threatened or in danger of extinction, and oil drilling could cause severe damage to this habitat, further threatening the survival of local wildlife such as the West African manatee.

West African manatees already face a number of threats to their survival, including air pollution caused by agricultural and urban development, deadly strikes by boats, and entrapment in fishing nets. They are regularly captured and sold to aquariums and zoos or killed for their meat and bones.

I urge you to protect this fragile ecosystem and stop plans to auction off licenses that would allow oil drilling in wildlife reserves. Please do all that you can to maintain this beautiful habitat and ensure the survival of the threatened West African manatee.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: NRCA via Flickr

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