The Guardian (Nigeria)

Nigerian biologist, Iroro Tanshi, wins global conservati­onist award

- From Anietie Akpan, Calabar


Nigerian female biologist, Iroro Tanshi, has won this year’s prestigiou­s Internatio­nal Prize For Nature Conservati­on.

Tanshi discovered bat species in Nigeria that were last sighted 45 years ago and beat more than 120 other contestant­s by winning the 2020 Future For Nature ( FFN) Award.

A statement issued yesterday by the Country Director, Wildlife Conservati­on

Society ( WCS), Nigeria Programme, Andrew Dunn, said: “Of 124 candidates from all over the world, three inspiring natural leaders in nature conservati­on were chosen as this year’s winners of the FFN Award.

“On Friday, May 8, 2020, Iroro Tanshi ( Nigeria), María Fernanda Puerto- Carrillo ( Venezuela) and Tjalle Boorsma ( the Netherland­s/ Bolivia) received the prestigiou­s nature conservati­on prize during the Future For

Nature Award Event at Royal Burgers’ Zoo.

“In the past, this internatio­nally renowned prize was presented by icons such as Sir David Attenborou­gh and Dr. Jane Goodall.”

Tanshi is a dedicated bat specialist and among other achievemen­ts, Dunn said, “She rediscover­ed a population of the Short- tailed Round Leaf bat in Nigeria. The last one was seen 45 years ago. Now, she is on a mission to protect the last known stable cave roost.

That roost is under threat of fruit bat hunting and wildfires in Nigeria.

“Her ‘ Zero Wildfire Campaign,’ which engages local people to protect critical habitats for the bat species is yielding results to help bring back the species from extinction.

“In 2019, zero wildfires were reported in the dry season. Her passion and perseveran­ce is now rewarded with the internatio­nally recognised Future For Nature Award”.

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