The Conservator of Park (CP), Gashaka-Gumti National Park, in Taraba State, Mr. Yuhanna Saidu, has identified increasing illegal logging activities and indiscriminate grazing as major man-made factors killing park life in the state.
Saidu spoke, on Tuesday, at an event to commemorate the World Rangers Day in Serti, headquarters of Gashaka Local Government Area of the state.
He said that despite natural environmental factors, illegal human activities now constitute major threats to the continued survival of the park.
“Gashaka-Gumti National Park has had its fair share of human pressure on the park resources ranging from activities of poaching, logging, illegal grazing, mining, fishing and farming.
“Of particular concern is the current spate of desperation for illegal logging of Rosewood, commonly called Madrid.
“Rosewood is a valuable timber used for many purposes such as forage for livestock, medicine, dyes for cloths and luxury furniture.
“Unfortunately in Nigeria today, Taraba State happens to be the last point where Rosewood is found and logging is intense.
“These activities, if not quickly checked, will result in dire environmental consequences not only within the immediate area, but also the nation at large”, he said.
He explained that the World Rangers Day was founded on July 31, 1992, by a UK-based International Rangers Federation (IRF) to commemorate Rangers killed or injured in their line of duty and celebrate the work Rangers do to protect the planet’s natural resources and cultural heritage.
In his goodwill message at the occasion, the Lamido of Gashaka Emirate, Alhaji Zubairu Hamman-Gabdo, commended the resolve of the Rangers in the protection of the park and its resources.
While expressing confidence in the theme of this year’s celebration, ‘I stand with World Rangers: Protecting Wildlife and Wild Places’, Hamman-Gabdo said that “this clarion call must continue to support the works of the Rangers and assist in drumming the message of conservation far and wide so that collectively we can make a difference”.
He also charged the Nigerian media to do more in publicising the activities of Gashaka-Gumti National Park which, he said, is the largest in West Africa.
Recall that the state experienced serious rain stark at the turn of the raining season this year which most people attributed to the massive logging activities in the wake of the clamour for Rosetree (Madrid).