This is the story of our Conservation Work so far. In fact, this is the beginning. I hope it inspires you.
Sometimes in April, 2016, while I was on my Master’s program at the Universidad Internacional De Andalusia (UNIA), Spain, on Wildlife Management and Conservation of Species in Trade (The International Framework, 12th Edition), and I was at a critical decision period as to how I am going to use all the knowledge I am getting to impact on species conservation back at home in Nigeria; I remember asking one of my lecturers, “Where do I begin from”? A Video emerged from the shores of Nigeria of a Sea Turtle taking and been sold on the streets of Lagos.
At that moment, it dawned on me that there is an Urgent need for Wildlife Education in Nigeria and reading through the comments on that particular post, I believed my question, where do I begin from was answered. So I discussed with colleagues and my lecturers in Spain, and before long I conceived and founded Wildlife of Africa Conservation Initiative — a concept developed as “A Special Wildlife Conservation, Research, Education and Rescue Initiative” with a Vision to create “A Growing generation, knowledgeable and motivated to take positive actions on behalf of the ‘Wildlife’- Plants and animals that share our land and sea with us and the environment”. Special mention must be made of my colleagues in the CITES Master’s — Bintu Sia Foray Musa (Sierra Leone), James Oppong (Ghana), Mawdo Jallow (The Gambia), Trokon Grimms (Liberia), Jessica Stabile (USA); My Lecturers at UNIA- Helen Pierre (EU), Pamela Scruggs (USA); a friend and alumnus of UNIA Maribel Rodriguez (Belgium) and someone that came into my life and has turned out to be a great mentor — Anna Stamatiou (UK/Greece based); all whom I shared this dream with in the early stages and they made positive suggestions to shape the initiative into what it is today and they still do offer me guidance and advice.
On my return to Nigeria, sought out ordinary Nigerians that feel motivated to do something for Wildlife and the Environment to work with me. Right now, I have over 20 volunteers working with me, two University lecturers serving as advisors to us and a number of Local and international collaborators from Nigeria here, Germany, Greece, Italy, Botswana, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Ghana, The Gambia, Liberia, South Africa, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Israel, Turkey, New Zealand, Namibia, Belgium and the United States and the list is growing.
I took a trip to the United States afterwards to attend the International Sea Turtle Symposium, in Las Vegas, where I presented my accepted abstract, I Visited almost all the Conservation Centres in the East Coast of the United states and I also had various discussions with different conservation groups on possible sustainable partnerships for Wildlife of Nigeria and of Africa by extension. I rounded up my trip by Volunteering for 3 months with the Barbados Sea Turtle Project with the sole aim of replicating same in Nigeria soon with the support of Aktionsgemeinschaft Artenschutz (AGA) e.V., Germany, who before now, prepared for us a Nigerian version of their Sea Turtle Exhibition named ‘Ariyike’ exhibition, as well as a children’s colouring book describing the adventures of a Sea Turtle named ‘Lucky’ as Our first and flagship environmental education program.
Our Conservation Story is just beginning. I wish to use this opportunity to thank All my friends in the United States, members of the Global March For Elephants and Rhino and from the Conservation Family that made my stay in the US a very pleasant one and also Wildlife of Africa Conservation Initiative Team Members back in Nigeria/Africa. Thank you Very much and Best of Regards. In the coming days the Wildlife of Africa would be better for it.
Learn more ‘About Us’ at www.wildlifeafrica.org and you too can join us. You can also be a Volunteer and/or a Sponsor.
We have created a Platform where any Wildlife Professional or Enthusiasts with or without Wildlife or Conservation background who feel motivated to take positive actions for Wildlife of Africa can express themselves and their love for Nature. We have created several actions through which they can express themselves and if what they want to do for Wildlife and Nature is not on the list, we would help them find their calling. To us, working for Wildlife, working for Nature, and working for the Environment is a vocation.
Check out the list below and contact us if you feel drawn to anyone and we would discuss with you how you can help.
1. Wildlife Education
a] Sea turtle Exhibition
b] Professional Training in Conservation
c] 1st Conservation Academy in Nigeria
d] Wildlife and Livelihoods
e] Urban Greenery and Gardening and Pollinators
2. Conservation Excursion
a] Nature Saturdays
b] Trips to Conservation Centres
c] Private Land Conservation
3] Research — Research Actions
a] Mammal Inventory
c] Prunus africana
d] CITES Implementation
4] Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Operations
a] Species Conservations Plans
I] ProjectAriyikes — Sea Turtle
II] Vultures in conjunction with Lufasi
b] Wildlife Watch Network
c] Alert, Information and Data Centre. (WildlifeAID Centre)
5] Social Action and Advocacy
A] Global March for Elephant and Rhino
B] World Wildlife Day
C] Wildlife and Environmental Issues
D] #WildlifeFriendly Badges Award
E] #MyConservationStory platforms
© Felix Olusola ABAYOMI
Founder, Wildlife of Africa.
WildlifeAID Centre (Wildlife of Africa Conservation Initiative)
Plot 6, Sani-Luba Road, Opposite, Veterinary Clinic, Besides NTA, Ijebu-Ode, 120231, Ogun State, Nigeria