Dr Inaoyom Imong, the Director, Cross River Landscape for Wildlife Conservative Society (WCS), Nigeria Programme says the famous Cross River gorillas are going into extinction.
He said the situation has become worrisome as the number of gorillas left in Nigeria is only 100 and about 200 in the Cameroonian part of the forest.
According to him, other wildlife species such as chimpanzees, monkeys and fishes are also threatened due to human activities like deforestation for agricultural and manufacturing purposes, illegal logging, hunting and direct pollution.
“Nigeria has already lost some species of rhinoceros, giraffes and wild dogs that are part of the nation’s wildlife but are no longer here including plants that are also threatened.
“Due to a high rate of deforestation in Nigeria, the nation has lost quite a bit of its original forest cover.
What is left now is probably about 10 per cent of which a substantial part is in the Cross River National Park and other protected areas.
“I don’t think it is so much a question of legislation to protect our wildlife because Nigeria already has quite a number of relevant laws, the problem is the enforcement of these laws,’’ he said.
Imong added that WCS was doing its best to collaborate with the National Parks at the national level, and the Cross River and Bauchi Governments at the state level to protect the nation’s wildlife.
“We provide technical support for government agencies responsible for the management of the parks, training for staff in enforcement patrols, logistics and provision of equipment.
“We also do a lot of advocacy in communities and provide support for these communities in developing alternative sources of livelihood to reduce dependence on the forest,’’ he said.