Migratory birds have been described as the indicators of how safe or unsafe an environment can be.
Director, Technical Programmes at the Nigeria Conservation Foundation (NCF), Dr. Joseph Onoja, made the submission on Thursday, November 14, 2019 in Lagos while addressing bird watchers during the organisation’s 2019 Spring Alive Campaign.
“When you observe that birds are suddenly disappearing from an environment or seem dying, it shows that the air in the environment is likely not good for humans again,” Dr Onaja stated.
The theme of this year’s campaign, observed at Alpha Beach and Lekki Conservation Centre, is “Bird collisions with windows and glass”. It is aimed at encouraging people to take conservation action for birds, nature and the environment as top priority.
The overall aim of Spring Alive Campaign in Africa, according to NCF officials, is to help African children, their families, friends and teachers to understand, engage with, and take action for birds and nature, and to understand the need for international conservation for migratory species. It also encourages the broader community to get more involved with nature conservation in their respective communities.
NCF team led bird lovers to Alpha Beach, Lekki for bird watching and beach clean-up exercise. Although no migratory bird was on sight, some resident birds found were however identified. Some of the birds found include Speckled Pigeon, Cattle Egret, Northern Grey-headed Sparrow, Swallow, Village weaver and Laughing Dove.
“The NCF’s goal for participating in this campaign is for Environmental Education & Priority Action Conservation (Species & Habitat Protection). Major activities designed for the campaign were bird expedition, bird count, arts & craft session for students. Some of the materials made available for participants were bookmarks, posters, leaflets and Identification guide on migratory waterbirds,” said Oladapo Soneye, the NCF spokesperson, in a statement.
The Art and Craft Session held at Lekki Conservation Centre was facilitated by Mr. Omotoyosi Ogunlende, CEO of 5&10 Kraft Zone. He took the school pupils of Genesis High School, Okun Ajah Community Senior Secondary School, Royal Treasures School and Precious Star School through the crafting of paper and cards to make images of birds.
Mrs. Abidemi Balogun, Head, Environmental Education, who is the Project Lead, highlighted the six migratory birds that the campaign focuses on as White Stork, Sand Martin, Common Swift, Barn Swallow, Eurasian Bee-Eater and Common Cuckoo.
She said: ”Out of the six migratory birds the campaign centres on, only two could be found in Nigeria, which are Barn Swallow and Common Cuckoo.”
In the previous years, NCF has organised training workshop on Spring Alive for coordinators of conservation clubs, organised bird expeditions to Lekki Conservation Centre, organised drawing contest among school children, and produced factsheets on migratory birds and other awareness materials.