By Patience Omoha
Dr Muhtari Aminu-Kano, Director- General, Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NFC), has said plans have been concluded to enhance the conservation of vultures in order to sustain their services to the ecosystem.
Aminu-Kano disclosed this as NFC joined the world to celebrate the International Vulture Awareness Day (IVAD) which aims at raising awareness about the threats of extinction that vultures are facing globally.
In a statement made available to journalists on Sunday in Abuja. he said that vultures have been under severe threats in recent years due to certain superstitious beliefs in Africa.
He said that in recent decades NCF had expressed concerns about the dramatic decline in vulture species not just in Nigeria but the entire West African subregion.
“This serious decline in vulture population in West Africa is as a result of superstitious beliefs that vulture parts can be used to cure certain illnesses or bring about good luck.
“We are delighted to be part of IVAD and in particular to be part of the Bird Life Africa Forum.
“This forum would soon be inaugurated to consolidate the conservation work that will hopefully save the threatened species in Africa,” he said.
Aminu-Kano said that NCF has gathered relevant stakeholders and traditional healers to come up with substitute plants that could be used in the place of vulture parts.
He disclosed that IVAD also sought to promote a coordinated international effort to publicise the conservation of vultures which NCF has huge interest in doing.
Aminu-Kano, quoting the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list, said about 75 per cent of all vultures globally were threatened with extinction.
According to him, IVAD is usually celebrated annually on the first Saturday in September to show man’s appreciation of vultures and the ecosystem services they provide. (NAN)