October 08, (THEWILL) – Conservationists have warned against poaching Vultures and other migratory birds in Cross River State.
Emmanuel Owan, the head of the Cross River Office of the Nigeria Conservation Foundation, made the appeal in Calabar during sightseeing, to mark this year’s World Migratory Bird Day.
This year’s event had its theme as, “Light Pollution”, and was held in partnership between the NCF and the Calabar Birds Club.
As part of the event, members of the Calabar Birds Club undertook a bird sighting at the Tinapa Business Resort in Calabar.
Speaking on the disappearing birds in the state, particularly vultures, Owan said, “There are a lot of birds we have always found even in our environment like the vulture.
“These days, it takes a lot of time for people to even sight the vulture.
“Before now, when there is a piece of meat or even a slaughter you find vultures everywhere, but that is not the case today because they are gradually getting extinct.
“We are trying to protect these creatures, especially the bald-headed vulture and the Egyptian vulture because if we are not careful, we will get to a point where we will not see them again except on paper and television”, he said.
He listed other threatened birds in the state including Siberian cranes, flamingos, falcons and bald-headed geese.
Others he said like the grey parrots, and blue parrots, which were predominant in our forested areas like Ikom, Boki and Etung, are hardly seen anymore in the state.
He said the significance of the day is to protect the migratory birds from accidents, harm, and predation while in transit because they travel right from Europe to Africa for certain reasons.
Justifying this year’s theme, he said people have to dim the light because it causes destruction to the birds who confuse it with sunlight.
He appealed to people not to kill these birds for food because they are an integral part of the ecosystem.
“We know that in this part of the world, people are hungry and looking for food so they haunt these birds a lot, track them down, kill them for money and food.
“However, within these birds, there are some that are migratory, with the status of rare and some are critically endangered.
“So by having an understanding of these different statuses, we know what to go for and what not to go for even in the midst of scarcity “, he said.
He appealed for special attention to be paid to the environment because without the environment we are nothing as we are completely dependent on the environment.