Environmentalists have expressed concern about the decline in the vulture population, regretting that of the five species recorded in the early 1980s, only two existed and that a few others still remain in the country.
They blamed the near extinction of birds on a variety of factors, including direct persecution, poisoning and biomagnification death of diclofenac, and the use of vulture parts for traditional medicines.
Speaking in Abuja, the director of the technical program of the Nigerian Conversation Foundation (NCF), Dr Joseph Onoja, said: “In Africa, around 11 species have also suffered the same fate as six of the 11 bird species are on the verge of extinction.
Onoja, who spoke of “Nigeria’s effort to tackle the illegal trade in vulture parts and belief-based use,” said the decline had had an impact on “human health” and economy, adding that this has become more visible in protected and unprotected areas.
He revealed that the Southeast is the only area of the country that has vultures, mainly in Enugu, Anambra and Imo. He added that the main cause of their population decline was due to the way they were poisoned in slaughterhouses and also used for traditional medicine.
In addition, CITES Wildlife Management Officer Mr. Timothy John observed that the decline in the population of scavenging vultures in Nigeria was considered imperceptible as it is cosmopolitan in nature.
John said, “In 2013, we conducted a study at Yankari Wildlife Sanctuary in Bauchi State to find a similar result in the rate of reduction. It took five years for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to raise the conservation status of the species from Least Concern to Critically Endangered.
“With this deleterious trend on the bird population, the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (N CF) has taken deliberate steps to reverse the trend, while joining the Birdlife Partnership around the world to curb the global decline.”
Deputy Customs Comptroller Idris Abba-Ali told reporters their assessment of the market revealed vulture coins have local and international trade routes with major hubs in Cameroon, Republic of Niger, Burkina Faso. and Nigeria (Ibadan and Kano), which feed the rest. wildlife markets in the southwest.
Abba-Ali said a life vulture goes between $ 85 and $ 140, while a dead one could sell for between $ 40 and $ 60, depending on location and product availability.