On 18 May, members of the Forest Center School Conservation Clubs (SCCs) celebrated the 2018 World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) at the Tree Heritage Park, a “Noah’s Ark” within the campus of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, where threatened native trees are conserved. WMBD is an annual event, which aims to create global awareness about the protection of migratory birds and their habitats.
Adewale Awoyemi, IITA Forest Center Manager, explained that habitat destruction on stopover, wintering, and breeding sites was one of the greatest difficulties facing migratory birds, referring to Palearctic migrants as “birds of two continents that know no borders. To be proactive, we have to restore habitats, and in the rainforest zone of Nigeria, tree planting, especially of native trees, is crucial”, he added. During the event, 360 seedlings of native trees, distributed across 37 species, were planted by 65 students from six schools: Ansar-Ud-Deen High School, Ibadan; Esther Foundation Girls School, Ibadan; Ibadan International School; IITA International School, Ibadan; International School, Ibadan and Olive Branches School, Osogbo.
The students also took biometric data such as name and height of tree species, and size and number of leaves, which would allow them to make comparisons during subsequent visits.