John Frederick Walker

Diamond Mining Threatens Giant Sable Antelope

Posted in Uncategorized by JFW on March 13, 2013

The magnificent giant sable antelope, a critically endangered sable subspecies that happens to be the national animal of Angola, needs all the help it can get to survive. Only about a  hundred of these creatures are left.  Diamond mining in its long-isolated habitat could be the death-knell for this walking emblem.

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Colin McClelland, reporter for Bloomberg News in Angola, has broken a story on state gem company Endiama EP, which had drawn up plans to expand diamond mining into the Luando Reserve, critical environment for the giant sable.  McClelland interviewed Endiama spokesman Antonio Freitas, who stated that “Endiama’s main goal is to protect the palanca negra [giant sable].”

Angolan biologist Pedro Vaz Pinto, who has rescued a small number of the animals for a captive breeding program nearby, says he’s encouraged by Endiama’s response, but warns that “a concession in that location must be blocked,” as it would result in roads, bridges, and camps being built in what is now undisturbed giant sable habitat.

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