The Tanzanian government has announced that it has cancelled the project that activists said would cut through a portion of the Serengeti National Park, severing a migration route for wildebeest, other antelope and zebra.
“The State Party confirms that the proposed road will not dissect the Serengeti National Park and therefore will not affect the migration and conservation values of the Property,” the Tanzanian Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism said in a statement.
This could have had a devastating impact on the ecosystem.
The seasonal migration of 1.5 million wildebeest and other species is called the Great Migration and provides a boon to tourism in the area.
Tanzania’s President Jakaya Kikwete had planned to build a road through the park, amid much opposition from environmentalists and scientists.
They argued that the road would have a devastating impact on wildlife, with results that may include threatened species like rhinos being hit by vehicles, invasive plants being brought into the area and as fences go up, migration routes being blocked.
“The Serengeti ecosystem is one of the wonders of the planet,” said Anne Pusey, an evolutionary anthropologist at Duke University. “It must be preserved.”
The Serengeti supports an economic ecosystem, attracting 100 000 tourists every year.