Season three highlights the importance of forests, the challenge of climate change, and the threats facing Nigeria’s wildlife.
Wild Africa Fund, alongside its radio partner, Yabatech Radio 89.3 FM, has launched the third season of Wildlife Weekly, a weekly show about Nigeria’s rich biodiversity.
This season takes an innovative approach, unpacking why each element of Nigeria’s impressive biodiversity exists. Every episode starts with “why” as its central question, showcasing a childlike curiosity while examining the essential role of wildlife spaces and discussing what climate change means to ordinary people. The latest season also celebrates local heroes working on the ground to save Nigeria’s biodiversity, as it did in season two.
With on-the-ground reporting from a forest featuring a popular Nigerian musician, a visit to a bird club, stories from Rwanda’s Akagera’s park, interviews from ordinary people about climate change, and episodes starring the host of Nigeria’s first wildlife show for kids, there is much to look forward to.
Wildlife Weekly premieres on November 20, 2023, airing at 11 a.m. (West Africa Time) each Monday for 13 weeks on Yabatech Radio 89.3 FM and as well as on Apple podcast and Spotify. For the first time, Wildlife Weekly will also have a repeat broadcast on Tuesdays at 6 pm (WAT).
The show broadcasts to a young audience of over 20 000 students from two major campuses – Yaba College of Technology and the University of Lagos – in the heart of Lagos’ bustling tech city, Yaba, where the station is located. In addition, the station also reaches other audiences in close districts in lagos.
“I am excited about the new season. It offers our audience another opportunity to hear captivating stories about endangered species, conservation efforts, and extraordinary encounters with wildlife and wild places. At the end of every show, there are many prizes to be won and an opportunity to win an all-expense paid trip to Lekki Conservation Centre at the end of the season”, said Abiodun Ajibade, Yabatech Radio FM Station Manager.
Over the past three decades, Nigeria’s wildlife has experienced an immense decline, with species like lions, elephants, gorillas, chimpanzees, drill monkeys, and even some antelope species now driven to the verge of extinction. Conservationists estimate that fewer than 400 elephants, 100 Cross River gorillas, and 50 lions still survive in Nigeria.
In addition, Nigeria is a major transit hub for illegal wildlife products shipped to Asian countries, and the consumption of illegal bushmeat, which risks the introduction of zoonotic diseases such as Ebola and Monkeypox into urban centers, is a growing practice. There’s still a considerable knowledge gap about these risks, but public awareness is slowly gaining attention.
“I look forward to presenting this season’s show,” says Deborah Oiza, Wildlife Weekly presenter. “We’ve put in a lot of work to pull our materials together in pre-production, so it’s good to see that all of that is finally coming to fruition. I am excited about all the episodes, especially ‘The Bald-Headed Saviour: Vultures, Man and Mangroves,’ and ‘A Day in a Club: The Ibadan Bird Club.’