Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) has said sustained actions are needed to halt the indiscriminate habitat destruction and human-wildlife conflicts triggering unpredictable behaviour and movements of Nigeria’s elephants out of known home ranges.
The Director-General of NCF, Dr. Muhtari Aminu-Kano in a statement to mark the 2019 World Elephant Day with the theme: “Bringing the World Together to Help Elephants,” said two subspecies of the African Elephants with an estimated population of about 300 individuals are currently living in the wild in Nigeria.
The Forest Elephants according to him occupy the lowland tropical forests of Southern Nigeria, while the Savannah Elephants make use of the vast woodland/grassland ecosystems North of the country mostly in protected areas.
Aminu-Kano said enhancing civic awareness and galvanising wide-ranging supports for the elephants is visibly the practical pathway to tow.
He urged individuals and corporate bodies, especially those whose brand adornments promote natural features to lend their corporate existence and influence to help the cause of elephant conservation in Nigeria.
While noting that efforts to preserve these animals in their home ranges are spearheaded by the Nigerian Conservation Foundation and the Wildlife Conservation Society with support from various State governments, local communities and other corporate bodies, he said Nigeria has for long featured prominently among nations with spectacular landscape and heritage sites that are of immense significance to biodiversity conservation.
“These among other factors have earned us global recognition and endeared a host of institutions to embrace animal and plant symbols as its corporate identity,” he said.
“The increasing interests and supports from corporate institutions towards sustainable practices and actions have added to the expansion of conservation influence in Nigeria. Expectedly, these efforts did pay off with the near zero mortality rates recorded for the elephants in recent time, he added.