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1 December 2014 Pius A. Anadu (1940–2014)
John F. Oates
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Pius instructing students on the processing of small mammal specimens in the course of a survey, sponsored by WCS, on the Obudu Plateau, Nigeria. 2005. Photo by Andrew Dunn.

Pius Anadu died in London on 11 December 2014, at the age of 74. Pius was the first Nigerian member of the Primate Specialist Group and during a distinguished career played a leading role in primatology, mammalogy and wildlife conservation in Nigeria. He participated in surveys in the 1980s that led to the re-discovery of wild populations of white-throated monkeys (Cercopithecus erythrogaster) and Sclater's monkeys (Cercopithecus sclateri), two little known species that had been feared to be possibly extinct; and he helped to establish the Okomu Wildlife Sanctuary (now National Park), a key conservation area for the white-throated monkey and other threatened species, including red-capped mangabeys.

Pius was born on 11 November 1940 in Nnewi, in what is now Anambra State, in eastern Nigeria. He grew up in a large, loving family with numerous sisters and brothers, cousins, nieces and nephews. He won a scholarship to study zoology at University College Ibadan (now the University of Ibadan), graduating with a B.Sc. in 1964. His subsequent career was interrupted by the Nigerian civil war. Not long before the outbreak of war in 1967 he re-located to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in what was soon to become Biafra. After the conflict began Pius enlisted as an officer in the Biafran army, and was subsequently wounded in the fighting.

When the civil war ended in 1970, Pius returned to Ibadan, and, in 1973, completed his doctoral thesis on the ecology and breeding biology of small mammals under the supervision of Dr. David Happold. The data from some of the papers that Pius published based on this research were used for species profiles in the Mammals of Africa (2013), a testimony to the lasting value of his work.

In 1979, Pius transferred from Ibadan to the University of Benin, where he was initially a senior lecturer in Zoology and eventually the Acting Head of the Department for Forestry and Wildlife. Increasingly he dedicated himself to the conservation of endangered species and to the protection of the environment in Nigeria, and was one of the first to draw attention to the impact of the commercial bushmeat trade on African forest wildlife. In 1988, he was appointed Executive Director of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation in Lagos and built an international reputation for both himself and the foundation; in 1992, under Pius's leadership, NCF won a UNEP Global 500 Roll of Honour award. After leaving NCF in 1994, Pius worked with the British Council in Lagos as an Assistant Director, where he was responsible for the council's program in the environment and renewable natural resources.

In his later years Pius became a consultant in environmental impact assessment. Among several projects he worked on in West Africa was a mission to Sierra Leone, where he assessed poorly-known small mammal populations in the Loma Mountains and Gola Forest, prior to these two important conservation areas being gazetted as national parks. After his retirement he moved to London, where his wife Christine (his college sweetheart) was working with the National Health Service.

Pius Anadu was a most knowledgeable, thoughtful, tolerant and modest man, who always spoke with care and grace. He was devoted to his family, and he and Christine raised two daughters (Ijeoma and Chinwe) and two sons (Obinna and Emeka), all of whom have gone on to establish successful careers.

Some of Pius Anadu's papers on Nigerian primates and on conservation:

  • Oates J. F. and P. A. Anadu. 1982. Report on a survey of rainforest primates in southwest Nigeria. Primate Conservation (2): 17.

  • Anadu, P. A. 1987. Prospects for conservation of forest primates in Nigeria. Primate Conservation (8): 154–159.

  • Anadu, P. A. 1987. Wildlife conservation in Nigeria: Problems and strategies. The Environmentalist 7: 211–220.

  • Anadu, P. A. 1987. Progress in the conservation of Nigeria's wildlife. Biological Conservation 41: 237–251.

  • Anadu, P. A. and J. F. Oates. 1988. The olive colobus in Nigeria. Nigerian Field 53: 31–34.

  • Anadu, P. A., P. O. Elamah and J. F. Oates. 1988. The bushmeat trade in southwestern Nigeria: a case study. Human Ecology 16: 199–208.

  • Oates, J. F. and P. A. Anadu. 1989. A field observation of Sclater's guenon (Cercopithecus sclateri Pocock, 1904). Folia Primatologica 52: 93–96.

  • Oates, J. F., P. A. Anadu, E. L. Gadsby and J. L. Werre. 1992. Sclater's guenon - a rare Nigerian monkey threatened by deforestation. National Geographic Research and Exploration 8: 476–491.

John F. Oates "Pius A. Anadu (1940–2014)," Primate Conservation 2014(28), 191-192, (1 December 2014). https://doi.org/10.1896/052.028.0113
Published: 1 December 2014
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