May 21, 2024
CONSERVATION: Vultures need love, protection — Prof Eniang
CONSERVATION: Vultures need love, protection — Prof Eniang
CONSERVATION: Vultures need love, protection — Prof Eniang
– By Godswill Odiong

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By Eyo Nsima
Professor Edem Eniang, Head of Wildlife Ecology Unit, Dept. of Forestry and Wildlife, University of Uyo, Nigeria, has disclosed that Vultures need to be loved and protected in order to enable them perform their duties as cleaners of the environment.

He said that Vultures were created to perform major functions, including the removal of dead animals, thus protecting the environment from contamination and undue pollution.

The professional said the undue hostility of man towards Vultures have culminated in deliberate killing or elimination, hatred and stealing of their eggs, thus reducing its population in Nigeria, other African nation and globally.

Prof. Eniang, who made this disclosure, while speaking on, ’Conservation: The Vulture, Man and Society’ at The Daily Africa Summit International Vulture Awareness Day, September 3, 2022, the world would be better when Vultures are encouraged to play their roles.

According to the organisers, Professor Edem A. Eniang, is an experienced and qualified professional, who has carried out several researches on the subject.

In a statement obtained by The Daily, www.thedaily-ng.om, the organisers, had stated: “He was born on 1st October, 1969 in Itam- Itu, Local Government Area of Akwa-Ibom State. He had his early primary education at Government School Mbak Atai, Itu, Nigeria and proceeded to the famous Command Secondary School, Zaria Road, Jos Plateau State where he graduated in 1984. He had his Bachelor of Agriculture in Forestry and Wildlife Management from the University of Uyo in 1992. He also bagged his M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Wildlife Resources Management from the prestigious University of Ibadan in 1998 and 2004 respectively.

“He started his career as Graduate Assistant in the Department of Forestry and Natural Environmental Management in the University of Uyo in 1995 and rose through the ranks to the enviable status of Professor in October 2015.

“Professor Edem Eniang is an effective academic of international reputation in Wildlife resources management with twenty-five (25) years’ experience in teaching, research, training, counseling, advocacy and community service with national and international organizations which has produced over 100 publications in highly reputed national and international journals. A talented and a passionate wildlife conservationist, international environmental management consultant and team leader, Professor Edem Eniang is highly motivated and driven to succeed within challenging environments.

“In 2017, the former Hon. Minister of State for Environment – Alhaji Ibrahim Jubril now His Royal Highness, Emir of Nasarawa personally handed over 600 life animals including 145 venomous snakes which were seized by men of Nigeria Customs and Excise Department to Prof. Edem Eniang in a public event at Calabar to keep in trust for the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“His outstanding career performance has earned him numerous international awards. In the course of his lifelong pursuits of endangered species conservation research in Nigeria, Prof. Eniang has rediscovered the Preuss’s Red Colobus Monkey (Procolobus badius preussi) in the year 2000 which was presumed to be extinct in Nigeria since 1980 and the Flying lizard (Halaspis guentheri) in 2015 which was last seen in Nigeria in 1968 and presumed to be extinct in Nigeria

“The global naming of his newly discovered West African Zebra Gecko in his honor as Hemidactylus eniangii in 2010 by international scientists working in the University of California Berkeley, USA became the icing on the cake of his extraordinary passion-driven wildlife conservation career. In 2012 to date, Prof. Eniang has discovered within Nigeria, Eleven (11) new animals including two (2) Culubrid snakes, two (2) Eel species, one (1) Amphibian and six (6) Forest Gecko species all yet to be classified by science.

“He has to his credit over twenty-five awards from both local and international governmental and non-governmental agencies including winning the Conservation award of prestigious Pan African Association for Zoos, Aquarium and Botanical Gardens (PAAZAB) 1st Conservation Award at South Africa in 2002. Professor Edem A. Eniang has held several positions of responsibility within and outside the University community. He is currently the Head of the Wildlife Ecology Unit in the Dept. of Forestry and Wildlife, University of Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State. He has mentored several national and international programs of which the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Sponsored Environmental/Conservation NGOs working in Nigeria is one.”

Significance of Vulture Awareness Day

According to Vulture Conservation Foundation, VCF, the world’s leading wildlife organisation solely dedicated to protecting, conserving and restoring Europe’s four species of vultures, “over the last century the populations of Bearded, Cinereous, Egyptian and Griffon Vulture have declined dramatically and seen their distribution ranges across the continent severely restricted.

“Every year, the first Saturday of September is dedicated to vultures. The International Vulture Awareness Day 2022 (IVAD) helps promote the importance of vultures and the vital work carried out by conservationists to preserve these majestic birds. This time around, IVAD falls on Saturday, 3 September 2022. Will you celebrate vultures with us?

“As nature’s clean-up crew, vultures play a vital role in the environments in which they live. Their scavenging behaviour helps keep ecosystems healthy and likely reduces the spread of disease. By efficiently consuming animal carcasses, vultures can also eliminate the need to collect and transport livestock carcasses to processing plants, saving us millions of euros in waste management every year and hundreds of thousands of tons of greenhouse gas emissions. Essentially, vultures provide free ecosystem services that benefit nature and society as a whole!

“But even though they are so important, vultures are often overlooked and misunderstood. They need all the help they can get when it comes to their reputation. So, please show your love for vultures by celebrating the International Vulture Awareness Day 2022 with us next Saturday!”

It also maintained that, “From a Vulture Maze to a Memory Game and the VCF’s Vulture Scavenger Hunt, there are many resources available on IVAD’s Downloads Page that children and families can easily carry out and enjoy in the comfort of their own homes.”

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