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The Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) and some conservationists have called for the eradication of light pollution to conserve migratory birds.
This is contained in a statement released by the NCF on Wednesday at the end of an event held to mark World Migratory Bird Day in Lagos.
The Tide source reports that the statement was signed by NCF Communications Chief Mr Oladapo Soneye.
World Migratory Bird Day is an annual event used to raise awareness about bird migration and the importance of protecting the flyways and habitats used by birds during this seasonal experience.
Bird migration is the regular seasonal movement, often north and south along a flyway, between breeding and wintering grounds. Many species of birds migrate.
Light pollution is a significant and growing threat to wildlife, including many species of migratory birds.
Every year, light pollution contributes to the death of millions of birds. It alters the natural patterns of light and dark in ecosystems. It can alter birds’ migration patterns, foraging behaviors and vocal communication.
The statement quoted NCF Chief Executive Dr. Muhtari Aminu-Kano as saying that Nigerians should jointly participate in bird conservation by eradicating light pollution.
Aminu-Kano expressed concern about the challenges birds face, especially the challenges of migratory birds, such as, but not limited to, habitat loss, persecution, starvation and pollution.
He said that this year’s theme, “Light Pollution: Dim the Light for Birds at Night,” was a clear call to action for all to join together in bird conservation.
According to him, research shows that birds accidentally fly at night because of city lighting.
“When we turn off light bulbs that aren’t so useful, we help reduce the risk of birds colliding head-on with buildings, trees and other infrastructure,” Aminu-Kano said.
Dr Soladoye Iwajomo, a senior lecturer in the Department of Zoology at the University of Lagos, defined light pollution as the introduction of artificial light, directly or indirectly, into the natural environment.
Iwajomo said light pollution causes the natural pattern of light and dark in ecosystems to be altered.
According to him, light pollution is often caused by the way light is emitted from light fixtures.
He said choosing proper gear and mounting and aiming carefully would make a significant difference.
Also speaking, Mr. Abdulmalik Ogizi, who represented the Federal Ministry of Environment, said that migratory birds travel hundreds of thousands of kilometers to find the best ecological conditions and habitats for feeding, breeding and raise their young.
“When conditions at breeding sites become unfavorable, it’s time to fly to areas where conditions are better.
“The phenomenon comes with several anthropogenic, political and environmental challenges on the survival and conservation of migratory birds,” Ogizi said.
He said the 2022 campaign highlights the impacts of the growing but underestimated threat of light pollution on migratory birds.
Ogizi noted that artificial light was globally increasing by at least 2% per year, which had adverse effects on bird species.
He said light pollution posed a significant threat to migrating birds, causing disorientation when flying at night, leading to collisions with buildings, increasing their vulnerability as prey to other animals disrupting their internal clocks or interfering with their ability to undertake long-distance migrations. .
NCF Species Program Manager Dr Stella Egbe said the world comes together to celebrate and raise awareness of the beauty and threats of migratory birds twice a year.
Egbe described migration as the seasonal movements of birds between their breeding and wintering sites.
She said seasonal activity is an important event that ensures the survival of many bird species.
“Each year, ornithologists and conservation biologists study birds in all types of environments globally, monitoring their numbers and diversity.
“In recent years, species have been observed to decline rapidly, driving species to the brink of extinction.
“From habitat loss, to indiscriminate bird culling and trade, to plastic pollution, birds are increasingly exposed to environmental factors to which they have not adapted.
“It has been discovered that some adult birds are being harvested which will prevent breeding.
This will lead to a general decline in the bird population,” Egbe said.