NCF celebrates World Pangolin Day and calls for urgent conservation action

Bennett Oghifo

The Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) has called on Nigerians to take useful and urgent action to conserve the remaining pangolin species in the country.

The Foundation made the call as it marked the world commemorating World Pangolin Day (WPD) on Saturday. .

“Unfortunately, despite being an amazing animal, all eight pangolin species are so endangered that they could be extinct sooner if drastic action is not taken. It is currently discovered to be the most trafficked mammal in the world,” NCF said.

World Pangolin Day is created to raise awareness about the endangered status of pangolins, which are threatened by poaching and deforestation of their natural habitats.

It is estimated that one million pangolins have been taken illegally from the wild worldwide. If action is not taken urgently, the earth could lose its only scaly mammal and soil aeration to the relentless cruelty of pangolin smugglers.

NCF is seeking the help of all concerned Nigerians to create huge awareness on the need for pangolin conservation. Stop the massacre, stop the trade!

WPD is an annual historic moment engaged by significant stakeholders in creating civic awareness for proactive actions to conserve and combat trafficking in pangolin specimens, while assessing and celebrating milestones achieved in the global push towards pangolin conservation.

Pangolins play a vital role in ecosystems by providing the earth with natural pest control. A single pangolin eats up to 70 million insects a year, which is important for keeping soils airy, tender and fertile.

In recent times, the speed at which pangolins are sourced locally, packaged and transported through Nigeria for international markets and the scale of occasional seizures reported are compelling to motivate the sincere support and participation of identified stakeholders.

According to MONGABAY – Nigeria’s emergence as a hub for illegal wildlife trafficking does not appear to be hampered by the coronavirus pandemic.

Between 2016 and 2019, more seizures were made by law enforcement around the world, with more than half linked to Nigeria. In July 2021, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) officials made the third largest seizure of pangolin scales inside the country. This year, several seizures were made.

Careless human activities against the pangolin and other wild animals will not only drive the species to extinction, but will continue to cause an epidemic and a possible pandemic.

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