By, Sani Gazas Chinade, Damaturu.
HOTPEN – The 2022 International Vulture Awareness Day (IVAD) have been observed in Kano city, the event was held on Friday, September 30th 2022 at Audu Bako Zoological Garden, Zoo road, Kano. It was facilited by the AP Leventis Ornithological Research Institute, an affiliate of the University of Jos.
The Institute is one of the partners of the Egyptian Vulture Newlife Project in Nigeria.
Participants at the event include, Wildlife Hunters Association Members in Kano, Wildlife Traders Association Members, Traditional Medicine practitioners, community members, Veterinary Doctors, Veterinary Drug Vendors Association and School Children.
Other important personalities are the Director, Wildlife services, Kano zoological Garden, Mohammed Danjuma Ado, Harry Hanson, NCF/Hadejia Nguru Wetlands Conservation Project, Hon. Lawal Jinjiri Managing Director, Kano Zoological Garden, Resource Person, Dr Suleiman Muhammad, Senior Lecturer, FUD and Mr Stephen Patrick among other stakeholders.
The presenter, Dr. Sulaiman Inuwa Muhammad who is a lecturer in the Department of Biological Sciences, Federal University Dutse, Jigawa State presented the Importance of Vultures in our environment and the Egyptian Vultures Conservation in Nigeria.
He revealed that Vultures help clean our environment and reduce the spread of diseases. Mohammed further highlighted Poisoning, electrocution, direct killing through shooting, deforestation, habitat loss, and use for traditional medicine as some of the factors threatening to Vulture and conservation.
Every year the world marks International Vulture Awareness Day (IVAD) in September, to raise awareness about vultures. However, the picture is not rosy for these magnificent birds. In Africa, vulture populations have declined catastrophically over the last 50 years, with declines of up to 97% for some species. While vultures are oft seen as sinister birds that signify bad tidings or even death, the critical role they play in the environment is irreplaceable.
Vultures act as nature’s clean-up crew, removing carcasses from our environment thanks to their unique scavenging capabilities. It is estimated that a single vulture may be worth as much as $11,000 for these clean-up services alone.
The loss of vultures in the ecosystem can have devastating ecological consequences, as seen in the 1990s when vulture populations in Asia crashed by up to 99% after feeding on cattle carcases containing diclofenac – a veterinary drug used to treat livestock, which is toxic to vultures.