It was a spectacle in Nguru, Yobe State recently as many gathered to watch a spectacle bird species – vultures.
It was more intriguing because the rare species of vultures were imported from Egypt.
Watching the Egyptian vultures was part of the chain of events to commemoration this year’s World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) which is celebrated every May 11.
The event had the theme “Protect birds: Be the solution to plastic pollution.”
Powered by the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) through its project office in Nguru, the participants including students and members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), trooped out in their large numbers for the event.
The events of the day: rally, talks and entertainments were geared toward sensitising, creating awareness and advocating the conservation of birds, especially migratory especially Egyptian vultures.
In his opening remark, the Project Officer, Harry Hanson, highlighted the threats against vultures in the northern Nigeria, calling on all in attendance to rise up and stop the killing of vultures for sale and other belief-based uses.
“Vultures (angulu) are going into extinction because of killings here and there. If we don’t stop the killing and make use of alternatives, in the next few years, we won’t have angulu here again,” he said.
The Director-General of NCF, Dr. Muhtari Aminu-Kano, represented by NCF Head Communications, Oladapo Soneye, delivered a keynote address which highlighted the health and economic benefits of vultures to human. He also stressed the need for community members to conserve the habitat of the bird species especially migratory birds.
The guest lecturer, Dr. Sulaiman Mohammed, a lecturer at the Federal University, Dutse, delivered a lecture on the theme.
In his presentation, he stated that plastics are one of the most widely-used materials in the world, with an annual production of more than 300 million tons.
“What often escapes one’s attention is that plastic is used for only a moment compared with its lifecycle of 20 to 500 years. Lightweight and designed to last, the discarded pieces are easily transported to ecosystems through the forces of nature causing serious threats to migratory species around the world. An estimated 8 million tons of plastic wastes enter the world’s oceans each year. To make matters worse, plastic does not simply dissolve or broken down into small particles by water, sunlight and wind, it often leads to lethal cases of ingestion and entanglement.”
The Chairman, NCF Promoter Committee, Yobe State, Alhaji Ladan Galadima, and the Provost, College of Health Science and Technology, Dr. Amisu, Mai Musa, in their remarks, appreciated the efforts of NCF and the clamour for all the people to rise up to the challenge of plastic pollution.
After the rally, the students, teachers, NYSC members, community leaders, representatives of National Park Service, Nigeria Police and Provost of College of Health Science and Technology, gathered at Government Girls Secondary School, Nguru, where the students made presentations using drama, poem and talks. Twelve secondary schools, three primary schools and students of College of Health Science & Technology partook in the day’s activities.
The day ended with bird watching outing in the wetlands; participants were enamoured to involve in bird identification and nature interpretation using binoculars.