“Save Vulture Campaign”: Foundation sensitizes Enugu residents on conservation of vulture
The Nigeria Conservation Foundation (NCF), on Thursday, carried out a one-day sensitisation and advocacy campaign for the preservation and conservation of Vultures in Enugu State.
The Director General of NCF, Dr Joseph Onoja said the event was part of activities to mark the 40 years anniversary of the foundation.
He said the foundation had since 2017 commenced a project tagged “Save Vulture Campaign”, targeted at sensitising the public about the conservation of vulture species and the adverse effect of its extinction on human health and the economy.
“This is part of a bigger project of combatting illegal wildlife trade in Nigeria.
“The project is being carried out in the southeast, southwest, and Northern Nigeria as some communities were identified as wildlife market hotspots as well as vulture safe zones, ” he said.
Onoja, who was represented by Head of Communications, Mr. Oladapo Soneye said Vultures were currently endangered species.
“If we don’t take urgent actions in preserving what is left while halting further reduction of their populations, we may drive them into extinction through human activities, ” he said.
He disclosed that the most commonest species of vulture found in Enugu is Hooded Vulture.
He recalled that in 2019, about 150 vultures were found dead at the Eke Market in Awgu Local Government Area of the state.
“This incident raised the concern of NCF and other major CSOs and
authorities in the state.
“This led to the deployment of strategies, including community engagement, capacity building for law enforcement agents, awareness campaign and field surveys in gaining utmost support for the conservation of vultures, ” he said.
Onoja identified some threats against Vulture species including direct persecution by stoning them because some people consider them dirty or evil birds.
“To some people, vulture represents a bad omen, some use them for belief-based purposes, some trade in vulture and its parts, while some cause the destruction of their habitat due to deforestation.
“That is why we are in the Coal city today to implore every resident and indigene of Enugu State to team up with us in protecting and conserving this rare species.
“I hope our appeal will receive massive support to bring about a re-orientation and understanding about the vulture, ” he said.
The sensitisation involved a Five-kilometer walk from SPAR through Independence Layout and terminated at Sophia hotel along the Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway.