“The significant decrease in the rate of migratory birds from Europe to Africa now poses a great threat to the existence of such birds”.
This statement was made known by Professor Franz Bairlein during the 7th A. P Leventis lecture series at the multipurpose auditorium Bauchi Road Campus of the University of Jos titled “fascinating wanderers; birds of two continents”.
Focusing on the migratory patterns of birds; he reveals that migration in birds is in search of comfort and survival. Therefore it is innate for the birds to know the migration time and direction as when due. “Consequently, the birds prepare themselves spontaneously by accumulating fat and body mass for the migration. Birds travel for about 5000km to 6000km every year for survival. The directions are said to be to the south-west in August to September, south-east in October to November and to the east around April to May” he revealed to his audience.
The professor in his presentation made clear the reasons for the decline in migratory activities of birds which include loss of habitat due to intensive land use, overgrazing, excessive use of pesticides and indiscriminate felling of trees without replacing them which affects the survival and reproduction of the birds. Hence, Bairlein called for “conscious socio-economic approach” to tackling these problems, the education of the general public on environmental issues and being ecologically conscious and friendly.
In his remarks, the vice-chancellor of the university, Professor S.S Maimako represented by the deputy vice-chancellor, Professor Nelson Ochekpe, welcomed the German professor to the lecture series which have become an annual event in the University. He observed a minute silence in honor of late Professor Oluremi Ajayi who until her demise was the head of the department of zoology and later presented a gift to the guest lecturer Professor Franz Bairlein for a wonderful presentation and enlightening the audience.
Dignitaries at the event included the DVC administration Professor Theresa Nmadu, the director of APLORI university of Jos Dr. Shiiwua Manu, the chief executive of A.P Leventis Nigeria, the Dean Faculty of Natural sciences Prof. (Mrs.) Georgina S. Mwansat, and other staff and students of the faculty of natural sciences.
Professor Franz Bairlein who is presently the director of the Institute of Avian Research Germany, have been in the study of birds and their migratory pattern for over 40 years and have also been to different parts of Africa which include; Algeria, Morocco, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Burkina Faso and Nigeria at different times to study the migratory patterns of birds.
Prof. Franz Bairlein is a Professor of Zoology with research interests in Ecology and physiology of migration with special emphasis on migration strategies, avian nutritional ecology with special emphasis on the internal and external control mechanisms of migratory fattening.
Report by TIMKAT, VICTOR SUNDAY
Photo source: https://aplori.org/files/2017/11/Franz-Bairlein.png