The Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), Lagos Urban Forest Animal Sanctuary Initiative (LUFASI) and Saint Marks Animal Rescue Foundation (SMARF) are set to commemorate the World Pangolin Day (WPD) on Sunday, February 21, 2021 at LUFASI Nature Park, Eti-Osa, Lagos.
The WPD is held annually by stakeholders to create public awareness towards conserving and combating trafficking of pangolin species; while also appraising and celebrating milestones attained in the global push towards pangolin conservation.
The rate at which pangolins are locally sourced, packaged and exported through Nigeria for the international markets and the scale of seizures reported in recent times necessitates the urgent advocacy for this “roller” with support and participation of all stakeholders globally.
This event will be graced by His Excellency Ben Lewellyn Jones, British Deputy High Commissioner; representatives of Lagos State Ministry of Environment, National Environmental Standards and Regulation Enforcement Agency (NESREA), Nigerian Environmental Society (NES), WildAid, Omu Resort, among others.
“More than ever before, we all need to come together to combat and reduce human activities that are pushing pangolin into extinction. This is a fight that must not be left for government or NGOs alone, but every Nigerian should be concerned and take impactful action to conserve the remaining species, redeem the image of Nigeria soiled in the international scene as the hub of illegal wildlife trade of this mammal” Dr. Muhtari Aminu-Kano, DG of NCF.
‘’The decimation of the pangolin is a classic example of how our footprint on nature, that is rapidly driving key species in the web of life into extinction, is beginning to have irreversible effects on the balance of nature and is preparing the way for future pandemics. Nigeria needs to become more a part of the solution than a part of the problem'' Mr. Desmond Majekodunmi, Chairman LUFASI.
“The time is now to unite our strengths and resources to defend the voiceless, taking every measure to save the treasured Pangolin, and in doing this, save humanity and earth” Dr. Mark Ofua, CEO of SMARF.
The word ‘pangolin’ comes from the Malay word ‘pengguling’, which means ‘one that rolls up’. When it is threatened, a pangolin will curl itself into a tight ball, which is impenetrable to predators.
The major threat to pangolins is illegal wildlife trade around the world, especially in Asia where they sought for their scales and meat. Unfortunately, Nigeria has become a hotspot and transit point for the illegal trade in pangolins.
Pangolins have big appetite for ants; hence are effective in controlling the population of ants. With an abundant number of pangolins, we would never have to worry about ant invasion in farms and homes. Hence, the need to protect and preserve these mammals from extinction.