FG to establish task force on illegal trafficking in wildlife species

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The Federal Government is planning to establish a task force to combat illegal trade in any species of wild flora and fauna, BusinessDay gathers.
Adejo Andrew, director, department of forestry, Federal Ministry of Environment, made this known at a workshop on ‘Combating the West African illegal trade in threatened vulture and their parts for belief-based use’ organised by the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), Lagos.
According to Andrew, illegal trade in wild life species has become alarming, especially with the embarrassment caused Nigeria with the current seizures of pangolin and ivory, believed to have passed through Nigeria as transit route to other countries.
“It is in this context that I wish to inform us that we would soon establish a task force on illegal trafficking of wildlife species,” Andrew said.
The task force will take care of both the domestic trafficking of wildlife species as well as international trafficking, as Nigeria is being used as transit point to other destinations, he said.
On the case of vulture specifically, the rate of threat to the creature is even more frightening because it is not traded illegally for export but traded and used locally due to the various belief systems on the efficacy of its parts being used in different traditional belief systems.
Andrew expressed the Federal Government’s worries over the fast disappearance of vulture from our ecosystem.
Hooded vulture species cannot longer be seen in the villages and towns where they were previously recorded, due to the unfriendly activities of human beings on them, he noted. Even other species, which spend most of their time in the forest, are critically endangered as a result of various anthropogenic activities.
“The Federal Government is very concerned about the decline of birds population especially the vultures,” he noted.
The director