Save gorillas in Nigeria, petition

This 2012 video is called Cross River Gorillas, Endangered, Caught on Camera.

From the Wildlife Conservation Society:

At any minute, bulldozers could plow through one of the last rainforests in Nigeria.

As the heavy machinery tears its way through thousands of acres of lush, ancient forest, they will demolish some of the only remaining habitat of the highly endangered Cross River gorilla.

There are just 300 Cross River gorillas left in the wild – they might not survive a blow like this.

Help protect the last Cross River gorillas: sign the petition to stop destructive superhighway construction.

For thousands of years, the Ekuri people have lived in and worked cooperatively to maintain this beautiful rainforest – one of the last remaining in densely populated Nigeria. But now Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade has plans to build a massive superhighway that would destroy this precious wild place.

Cutting through the heart of Cross River State, it would destroy a national park, adjoining forest reserves, indigenous communities, and vulnerable wildlife. What’s worse, the plans call for approximately 6 miles of “buffer” on either side.

To put this in perspective, the average Nigerian interstate highway has approximately 300 feet of buffer on either side. That means that a 12-mile swath of ancient forest, extending the entire length of the 160-mile highway – 100 times the usual area – will be bulldozed for absolutely no reason.

Governor Ayade is pushing hard for construction to start immediately but Nigeria’s federal government has the power to protect this land. Please, sign the petition to Nigeria’s President Buhari and help stop the Cross River State superhighway before it’s too late for this precious rainforest, the Ekuri people, and wildlife like gorillas, elephants, and chimpanzees.

I know you care about wildlife and wild places, which is why I’m writing you about this urgent crisis.

The superhighway would annihilate the habitat of hundreds of endangered and vulnerable species, including many found nowhere else on earth. And the livelihood of 180 indigenous communities will be completely destroyed. A powerful movement is building to stop it. The Ekuri Initiative has already organized the support of 253,000 people to take action to protect their forests – will you add your voice before it’s too late?

Thank you for all that you do to protect wildlife and wild places around the world.


John F. Calvelli
Executive Vice President, Public Affairs
Wildlife Conservation Society

Sleepless Nigerian Olympic footballers still win

Nigeria's first goal

This photo shows Nigeria (in green shirts)’s first goal in the Olympic football match against Japan in Brazil.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Today, 09:53

The soap opera surrounding the Olympic football team of Nigeria ultimately did not break the team. Although the plane with the Nigerians landed only six hours before kickoff in Manaus they won the first Olympic match there, 5 goals against 4.

This means maybe only four hours or less sleep or other rest for the Nigerian footballers.

Japan was the opponent in the hot and humid city in the Amazon.

Last week, there was a threat that the Nigerian selection would not reach Brazil in time. First there were problems with the payment of the plane tickets, then the flight was canceled because the plane was supposedly too small, then the team for a few days was unable to proceed beyond the airport in Atlanta in the USA.


After eight hours of flying, the team finally arrived in host city Manaus, where Japan was the first opponent of the 1996 Olympic champions (in Atlanta!). The game had an exciting first fifteen minutes with four goals: 2-2. Shortly before the break, Nigeria thanks to Oghenekaro Etebo for the third time went ahead.

The 20-year-old midfielder from Portuguese club Feirense, who had scored 2-1 as well, scored two more goals after the break. Japan came back to 4-5, but the tying goal was too late (five minutes into extra time) in order to make for a serious hunt for a draw.

See also here.

One should hope the Nigerian footballers will now get some well deserved good nights’ sleep. To be able to show what they are capable of, not only in bad circumstances, but in good circumstances as well.

Yusra Mardini: Olympic Syrian refugee who swam for three hours in sea to push sinking boat carrying 20 to safety: here.

Counting birds in Nigeria

This video says about itself:

Wonderful wildlife in Nigeria

22 July 2014

Chester Zoo has been supporting conservation work in Gashaka Gumti National Park, Nigeria, since 1994. The park is a biodiversity hot-spot, and is the home to a huge variety of wonderfully diverse wildlife, including probably the last viable population of the Cameroon-Nigeria chimpanzee sub-species.

By the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, 23 May 2016:

Giving verve to Nigeria’s Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas

As part of its commitment and dedication to the conservation and management of Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) within and outside protected areas, the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF, BirdLife Partner) has conducted an Annual Water Bird Census at Hadejia-Nguru Wetlands in Yobe and Jigawa States. This was also followed up with a capacity building workshop on effective monitoring of IBAs in Cross Rivers State, facilitated by NCF’s Ruth Akagu and Professor Augustine Ezealor, a renowned ornithologist.

The exercise was carried out with the support of Mr. Y.M. Kolo, Conservator of Cross River National Park (CRNP). The 2016 training was targeted at 10 unprotected IBAs, in contrast to the 2015 training, which focused strictly on Protected Areas.

The main purpose of the Water Bird Census was to ascertain the population of water birds. The census took place in six communities: Baturia, Nguru Lake, Dagona, Gsahua (new site), Katagum and Marma Chanel. Water bird species seen included storks, herons, geese, ducks and cormorants. A total of 166,439 individual birds across 212 species were recorded in the six sites visited.

The IBA workshop focused on IBAs in unprotected areas. The participants were taught basic bird identification techniques, standardised collection and recording of scientific birds and habitats data (using the IBA monitoring form and the use of the Monitoring Effectiveness Tracking Tool (METT) ), emerging conservation opportunities (carbon credits, payment for ecosystem services, ecotourism etc.) and establishment of Site Support Groups (SSGs).

The participants acquired skills in basic field techniques on bird sampling and identification, effective utilisation of the IBA form and METT framework and learned about the processes involved in establishing SSGs. They also received field equipment (field guides, binoculars and GPS) to further develop their expertise in IBA monitoring.

The training was funded by the RSPB (Birdlife in the UK) and facilitated by NCF with support from A.P. Leventis Ornithological Research Institute and National Park Service.

Save Nigerian birds from highway construction

This video is called Wonderful wildlife in Nigeria.

From BirdLife:

BirdLife advocates to halt construction of superhighway through IBA in Nigeria

By Obaka Torto – BirdLife International, Mon, 18/04/2016 – 10:19

The Cross River National Park, one of the most biological diverse sites in Nigeria and an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) is currently being threatened by the construction of a Super-Highway. BirdLife International has written a letter, following the request of the BirdLife Partner in Nigeria (Nigerian Conservation Foundation), to the President of Nigeria, H.E Muhammadu Buhari, outlining concerns over the construction of the proposed Cross River State Super-Highway, appealing for stopping the preparatory works and finding a suitable, less damaging alternative route.

The Super-Highway as currently planned will pass through the heart of the pristine Ekuri rainforest and other communities whose livelihoods depend on the area. This area is an ecological buffer zone to Cross River National Park which is an IBA identified for its outstanding importance for birds, people and other biodiversity.

Cross River National Park contains over 350 bird species such as the globally threatened Grey-necked Picathartes (Picathartes oreas) and 18 primate species, making it one of the richest sites for primates in the world. The park has one of the oldest rainforests in Africa, and has been identified as a biodiversity hot spot.

Some of the concerns surrounding the construction of this highway are that the road is likely to attract farming, logging and hunting on a massive scale which will destroy the area´s rich biodiversity vital for human life. The lives and livelihoods of the forest communities depend on this natural ecosystem; their food, water, shelter, medicine and culture is inextricably linked to the ecosystem services provided by the forests.  Birds could suffer serious declines, a key indicator of the health of any ecosystem. The Ekuri forest is also contiguous with the Cameroon Mountains Endemic Bird Area which holds twenty-one restricted range bird species, including eight that are Red Listed.

The Governor of Cross River State is a member of the global Governors´Task Force on Climate and Forests, which is a coalition of sub-national authorities with the stated goal of stopping deforestation in their jurisdiction and therefore mitigate the impacts of climate change. Constructing the planned road will clearly go against this goal by actually increasing deforestation in a wide corridor along the planned route.

As a result of complaints by BirdLife and others, the Federal Government of Nigeria has temporarily stopped the construction of the Super-Highway with the help of the Cross River State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade, pending the results of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). It is critically important that the EIA is completed in an open and transparent manner, consulting all the relevant stakeholders at the local and national level.

BirdLife International thanks the President and Federal Government of Nigeria for intervening in this project and considering the high biodiversity of the Cross River National Park and Ekuri forest. We expect that the Governor of Cross River, in cooperation with relevant Government bodies, will find an alternative route that will avoid deforestation and the unnecessary loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services.