The National Conservation Foundation has warned against the trafficking and illegal killing of vultures in the country and called on security operatives and herb sellers to support the foundation in its efforts to stop the acts.
The Conservation Manager, Technical Programme of the NCF, Mr. Adedayo Mahmud, gave the warning in Osogbo on Friday at a workshop organised by the NCF for policemen, officers of the Nigerian Customs Service and herb sellers popularly known as elewe omo.
He said vultures also assist law enforcement agencies by flying over the area where poachers just killed wildlife animals, lamenting that poachers usually poisoned the birds in order to avoid being given away by their activities.
Mahmud said, “Vultures are being killed in large number despite their importance to the ecosystem. Vulture population has declined drastically but it is estimated that a single vulture provides a scavenging benefit of $11,600 per year.
“Vultures are also used in traditional medicine. The feathers and the heads are used for ritualistic purposes and they are exported to other countries. That is why we are seeking the support of the elewe omo and also security agencies to stop this.”
He advocated legislation to arrest and prosecute wildlife traffickers and other offenders including those fond of wildlife poisoning.