Vulture extinction threatens health and environment — NCF
The extinction of vultures in Nigeria has been described as a matter of concern which tends to pose a great danger to people’s health and the immediate environment.
This was stated by the Save Vulture Campaign Ambassador for the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), Mrs. Mariam Longe, during a book reading event, held on Friday, April 22. 2022 at the American Corner in Lagos.
Speaking to reporters after reading his latest book, ‘Vultures to the Rescue – The Cleanup Crew’, to children and parents, which highlights the importance of vultures to our ecosystem and people; and tells stories of misconceptions around vultures, Longe encouraged Nigerians to take action to protect their habitat.
She said: “I am an ambassador for the Save Vulture campaign. Not only did I discover that they help keep our environment clean, but I discovered that they were critically endangered. They are on the verge of extinction.
“And it’s because of some of the cultural beliefs that we have as a people. We see them as a bad omen, bad birds. So many people don’t want anything to do with them. What we do is kill them, while some people think they can use them for all sorts of ritual purposes. So these combined activities have critically endangered the vulture population.
Speaking about her choice of children as the target audience in her book, popular television host and Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) economics graduate Zaria said, “I believe that if you really want to change people’s mindset, it’s important that you bring the kids, and it’s better to have well-informed kids who grow up to make better decisions for our environment.
Lending his voice to the conversation, the President of the United States Government Exchange Alumni Association in Nigeria (USGEAA), Mr. Mike Okwoche, highlighted the importance of vulture conservation in our environment.
He said: “Vultures are essential to environmental conservation, especially when it comes to washing away all the crumbs and decaying animal carcasses that we see in our environment on a daily basis.
“So it’s a day to look at what vultures do and then see how we can raise awareness among conservationists and young people: to make sure they know how important the vulture is, and some other animals that contribute cleaning up our environment.
One of the parents who brought their children to the book reading event, Mrs Omobola Olaribigbe expressed her joy at having the opportunity to learn more about vultures as adults and then to have mysterious stories about them being disproved.
She said: “Today I found out that vultures aren’t the bad animals we were all raised to believe in.”
One of the participants, a schoolboy, ToluwalopeOluwafemi boasted that he had learned the importance of vultures in preventing germs and diseases, and also promised to spread the campaign by telling his colleagues at the school.