William Oliver is a multi-talented conservationist, spending most of his time in the field, mainly working in the Philippines. However, he is also a highly respected wildlife artist and is regularly invited by Jersey Post to design artwork for wildlife stamps. Some of these are on display in the gallery during January/February 2013.
William Oliver has spent most his professional life working with and studying threatened species, both in the wild and in captivity. Born and raised in England, he was educated at London and Liverpool Universities, then worked briefly as an animal keeper and education officer at Marwell Zoo, before joining the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust (Jersey Zoo) in 1974 where he helped Gerald Durrell pioneer his ground-breaking ideas. William’s first field trip was to India in 1977 to study Pygmy Hogs and he has continued to champion the plight of threatened pig species in the wild, including the critically endangered Visayan Warty Pig in the Philippines. Over the past 20 years he has dedicated his time to conservation in the Philippines and it was William who first alerted WLT to the threat facing Danjugan Island and introduced us to Gerry Ledesma, President of the Philippine Reef & Rainforest Conservation Foundation; WLT went on to raise the funds to purchase and protect Danjugan Island as a nature reserve to safeguard it from unsympathetic tourism development.
William is now Director of the Philippines Biodiversity Conservation Foundation based in Manila although he visits the UK regularly and finds time to design Jersey’s wildlife stamps, paint wildlife and illustrate books.