AdvocacyConservation and Wildlife

How African traditional healers endanger vulture population

...vulture parts often used by herbalists

The demand for vulture parts for belief-based healing has continued to be a thing of concern in Nigeria and other West African countries in recent times.

These large birds have been endangered for some time and conservation efforts have been in place to protect these scavengers from possible extinction.

According to reports on BirdLife International, the organisation has expanded its operation into West Africa to prevent illegal trade capable of further endangering vulture species.

In West Africa, about 30% of death of these large birds is attributed to haunting and harvesting of parts for belief based healing of various ailments. This cultural practice has continued to deplete the population of the birds.

However, organisations like BirdLife International and its partners like Nigerian Conservation Foundation may in the near future be able to help salvage this situation; else West Africa may continue to see great depletion in population of vultures.

Illegal trade in vulture parts and poisoning are major causes of deaths of these large scavengers whose population depletion can only spell doom for the ecosystem.

However, local and foreign stakeholders must be on ground to arrest the depletion of vulture population by every legal means possible to salvage the situation and looming ecological danger.

Meanwhile, such stakeholders must continue to engage the traditional healers who still use vulture parts in their medications. Perhaps if alternative ingredients are considered, chances are that vulture population would revive and the ecosystem would be better for it.


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