The Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) promotes birds conservation through the commemoration of World Migratory Birds Day (WMBD) with the theme “Birds Connect our World”, held via a webinar on Saturday, 10th October, 2020.
WMBD is an awareness-raising campaign highlighting the need for the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats. The day is aimed at drawing attention to the threats faced by migratory birds, their ecological importance, and the need for national cooperation to conserve them.
Dr. Joseph Onoja, Director of Technical Programmes, NCF revealed that WMBD offers ample opportunity on the need to raise awareness about migratory birds and the importance of having them around.
He said, “bird watching is a great way to connect with nature. It is even therapeutic. Unlike in humans, the males of birds are more attractive than the females.”
He believes that bird watching impacts hugely on the ecotourism of Kenya, Uganda, South Africa among other countries, therefore, if Nigeria would embrace and explore this revenue generating aspect of the environment, it will boost the ecotourism industry for the nation.
“Maintenance of natural habitats is a major criterion for attracting more migratory birds into the country” He added.
While espousing the theme of the event, he highlighted some of the importance of bird watching and urged individuals to imbibe the culture.
He said “Why should you be involved in bird watching? It is because it is a great way to connect with nature; It helps to keep in touch with the awe and mystery of the natural world; It is a good way to exercise and feel good about yourself; all around the world, birdwatchers form the largest group of ecotourists; and through bird watching, we can keep track of changing seasons.”
He emphasized that migratory birds are beneficial to us and the planet's ecosystems because they provide critical services such as seed dispersal, pollination, pest control, cultural value, nature’s clean-up crew, helps research and more.
A session of quiz also featured in the event and emerged winners to be rewarded handsomely. Participants were drawn majorly from the education, media, environment and religion sectors.
The Day is celebrated bi-annually on the second Saturday in May and in October to portray the importance of birds in nature conservation.