In September 2019, in line with the International Vulture Awareness Day, the message “Save the Egyptian Vulture from Extinction” was spread to 2,500,000 people in the form of six advert boards installed on the major route to the Abuja Airport in Nigeria.
The Egyptian Vulture is among the most threatened and the only long-distance migrant among the Euro-Asian vultures, thus one of the flagships for the conservation of Old World scavengers over three continents. Although still large numbers are wintering in Sahel zone, the species became rare visitor to Nigeria because of the massive persecution and demand of vulture parts for traditional rituals and believed-based uses. As a result, all vultures have almost extinct from Nigeria. To counteract this critical situation, the Nigerian Conservation Foundation / Birdlife Nigeria (NCF) is mobilizing all potential resources, involving all relevant stakeholders and applying innovative approaches to find efficient solutions. Considering that Abuja Airport is one of the key regional airports, this campaign of NCF is a very powerful tool to raise international public awareness about the critical status of vultures, their role in the ecosystems and the threats they face.
The initiative is part of the international campaign “Fly with the Vulture” in the frame of the project “Egyptian Vulture New LIFE”. It aims at informing the public about the main threats Egyptian Vulture faces along its flyway and will take place at some of the biggest airports in the Middle East and Africa. Similarly, in December 2019 a big screen with the Egyptian Vulture was installed at the Arrival Hall of the Queen Alia International Airport in Jordan, raising the awareness of hundreds of thousands people.