A new study looks at the impact of seismic oil exploration on wildlife in Gabon's Loango National Park. Luisa Rabanal and fellow researchers found evidence that the loud noises generated by oil exploration activities can cause elephants to move large distances to escape the disturbance. The study findings also indicate that seismic activities can cause smaller scale disturbances for gorillas.
In threatened species like African forest elephants that have few offspring and mature slowly, disturbances that cause large scale shifts in spatial distribution may negatively affect the health of populations. According to the authors, this is the first study they know of to quantitatively assess the impact of noise from seismic activities on rainforest mammals.
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