Nige­rian bi­ol­o­gist, Iroro Tan­shi, wins global con­ser­va­tion­ist award

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - News - From Ani­etie Ak­pan, Cal­abar

A35- YEAR- OLD

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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