Vultures

The Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) has warned against the killing of vultures, which they play a major role in cleaning up the society.

The Foundation also kicked against illegal and indiscriminate killing of birds in the country, as they are an important part of the ecosystem.

Principal Conservation Officer of the Foundation in Cross River State, Mr Emmanuel Owan, who gave the warning in Calabar during the 2019 celebration of the World Migratory Bird Day, said that birds play a very important role, including the prevention of outbreak of diseases through their activities.

He said birds also help in the dispersal of seeds and pollution of plants and enriching the eco-system.

“Our message is that conservation is key to the protection of the ecosystem; it plays a key role. For those who are still hunting birds, they should do it with some level of caution, because the destruction of the habitat, the forest ecosystem and the environment play a huge role in the destabilization of their population and mortality.

“When the population of birds reduces, this significantly tells us that the biodiversity of the environment is depreciating. Today is to celebrate birds generally, but we are looking at the vulture.

“You find out that where we have carcasses, vultures are always there to eat these carcasses and clean up the environment. That is why we call them the clean-up-agent,’’ he said.

According to Owan, it was unfortunate that vultures, despite their economic importance in the ecosystem, had become an endangered species.

“Vultures play a major role in sanitizing our environment and reducing disease. Vulture extinction may lead to an outbreak of diseases because vultures eat remains of dead animals which could cause diseases if nothing was done to them,’’ he said.

The Foundation had a walk with school children as part of activities to mark the day, which had as its theme, “Protect Birds: Be The Solution to Plastic Pollution.”

Owan said the objective was to sensitize them on the need to conserve and train birds, rather than hunt them.

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