Oil drilling, possible fracking planned for Okavango region—elephants’ last stronghold

Hundreds of oil wells could come to cover a huge expanse in Namibia and Botswana, in what has been called possibly the “largest oil play of the decade.”

Seen from space, fingers of green define Botswana's Okavango Delta. This approximately 7,000-square-mile wetland amid the Kalahari Desert is fed by rains in Angola’s highlands. Brimming with wild animals and plants, the delta “is what the term ‘biodiversity hot spot’ was coined for,” says Marion Hammerl, president of the Global Nature Fund. Experts say that if large-scale oil production in a massive area north and west of the delta were to proceed, it would harm this fragile ecosystem.
Photograph by Satellite Earth Art, Getty

Read This Next

An icy world is in meltdown, amid penguin population shifts
This sacred valley could become the next national monument
This 50-year project is tracking the Cascades' melting glaciers

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet