An ecologist, Mr Chibuzor Akubuike, has called for stakeholders collective efforts to protect endangered species in the country.

Akubuike, who is also the Executive Director, Ecolife Conservation Initiative, an NGO, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Friday.

The ecologist was speaking on the commemoration of the 2019 World Endangered Species Day held on May 17 annually to create awareness on the need to protect endangered species from going extinction.

“Protecting endangered species is indeed one that requires collective effort and as such all hands must be on deck to check this dangerous trend.

“Little actions like recycling and buying sustainable products can help protect endangered species.

“Avoiding the use of hazardous herbicides and pesticides, learning about endangered species in your area, advocacy visits to the parliament and organising sensitisation walks are ways we can help protect endangered species,’’ he said.

According to him, plants and animals are said to be endangered and at risk of becoming extinct when they are threatened from changing environments due to direct human factors such as deforestation, over hunting, construction, pollution.

Akubuike said that indirect human factors such as climate change also led to an imbalance in their ecosystem.

According to him, there is need to protect endangered species because the health of an ecosystem is maintained by the plants and animals found in that ecosystem.

“When a specie is endangered and eventually extinct, it is an indication of imbalance in that ecosystem, this puts even humans at risk.

“World Endangered Species Day is a day set aside for people of all ages to learn more about the importance of protecting endangered species and everyday actions they can take to help protect them, restore their habitats and guide these fragile population,’’ he said.

The ecologist said that the day was started in 2006 by the U.  S. Congress to create awareness on endangered species across the U. S. to celebrate the nation’s wildlife and wild places.

“Ever since, every year on the third Friday in May and throughout the month, zoos, aquariums, parks, botanical gardens, museums, schools, conservation groups and other organisations hold exhibitions, tours, sensitisation walks, seminars and more to celebrate endangered species day.

“The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has classified some animals as critically endangered, some of these animals include the Amur Leopard, Gorillas, Sea turtles, Orangutans, Sumatran Elephants, Saolas and Rhinos.

“According to the 2017, IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the global authority on species conservation status, one of four of the world’s mammals.

“And over 40 per cent of amphibians are threatened with extinction due to human activity,’’ Akubuike said.

Edited by Grace Yussuf