Socio-economic Determinants of Wild Birds and Reptiles in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria  

O.O. Oduntan1 , D.O. Ogunyode2 , S.O.  Ojo2 , S.A. Onadeko1
1 Department of Forestry & Wildlife Mgt., Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria
2 Department of Wildlife & Ecotourism Mgt., University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Author    Correspondence author
International Journal of Molecular Evolution and Biodiversity, 2012, Vol. 2, No. 2   doi: 10.5376/ijmeb.2012.02.0002
Received: 05 Nov., 2012    Accepted: 08 Nov., 2012    Published: 10 Dec., 2012
© 2012 BioPublisher Publishing Platform
This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Preferred citation for this article:

Oduntan et al., 2012, Socio-economic Determinant of the Consumption of Wild Birds and Reptiles in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria, International Journal of Molecular Evolution and Biodiversity, Vol.2, No.2, 8~12 (doi: 10.5376/ijmeb.2012.02.0002)

Abstract

This study investigated socio-economic factors of human population in Abeokuta metropolis of Ogun State that contribute to the consumption of wild birds and reptiles. Primary data were collected through the administration of structured questionnaires to garner information from consumers of Wild birds and Reptiles in the study area. Fifty (50) questionnaires were randomly administered in each of the four markets that were prominent in the sales of wild birds and reptiles for consumption within the study area. Data were analyzed using percentages; while regression analysis was also used to determine the socio-economic factors that contribute to the consumption of wild birds and reptiles in Abeokuta metropolis. Results show that Age of respondents (p<0.05; t=2.564) is the only socio factor that contribute significantly to the consumption of wild birds and reptiles in the study area. Policy recommendations were made based on the outcome of the findings.

Keywords
Wildlife; Bush meat; Preference; Demographic; Status

The increase in human population in Nigeria has influenced the demand for food products of both plants and animals origin (Pomeroy and Ssekabiira, 1990). In order to cope with this increase in population, efforts are now being geared towards the evolution of more appropriate and sustainable system of livestock production. Bush meat such as monitor lizard and guinea fowl have not been fully exploited and may be a future source of protein to meet this increase in protein demand, at least in the tropics.

Furthermore, the use of wildlife in tropical areas worldwide has important livelihood aspects and serves multiple roles. Wildlife products are often major items of consumption or display and have high medicinal and spiritual values in many human cultures (Scoones et al., 1992). The meat of wild animals has long been a part of the staple diet of forest dwelling peoples. Bushmeat remains a primary source of animal protein for the majority of forest families (Wilkie et al., 2005), and can also constitute a significant source of revenue (Milner-Gulland and Bennett, 2003); particularly where the trade is driven by increased bushmeat consumption in urban areas.

Previous reports of several scholars indicated that wildlife is most highly valued as food. Ajayi (1971) estimates that 80% of the people in Southern regions consume bushmeat and that bushmeat supplies an average 20% of the animal protein consumed. The protein content of bushmeat ranges between 89%~90%. Protein has been discovered to be a good requirement for normal growth and repair of body tissues. Protein is the principal constituent of the organ and soft structures of human body and as a result protein is important in the nutrition of man (Cabbinnah, 1992). Akande (1979, unpublished data) found that 93% of those surveyed in the southwest like bush fowl (francolins). In another study of bush fowl consumption, Ayanda and Ayeni (1980) asserts that 79% of the people that were interviewed consumed guinea fowl. He estimates that there are 44 million semi-domesticated guinea fowl in Nigeria.

Also, reptiles have been hunted and traded by humans throughout history, particularly as food. Still today, reptiles can provide an important protein source for many people, or may be sold as a luxury food. Some reptiles are even used in traditional medicines. The skin of crocodiles and snakes are used in the creation of shoes, handbags and belts, and tortoise shell has become a popular material for jewelry and decoration. Reptiles have been popularly used in symbology and myth. Worldwide, snakes have been used as a symbol of power and sometimes evil, though are also used in symbols for medicine.

As human population increases and technological developments attempt to keep pace, a number of wild plants and animals disappear from their natural range. Vast areas of natural forests and range lands are being cleared continually for industrial, agricultural and residential purposes. Each alteration changes the ecological status of various native species. Extinction of birds and mammal species in particular, has closely followed the curve of human population growth over the last three centuries.

It is observed that a vast majority of people are more interested with what to consume rather than what to conserve. Compelled by poverty which is also amplified by the present economic conditions of the nation, indiscriminate hunting pressure on the wildlife resources has greatly increased (Onadeko et al., 1989).

Although, malnutrition is one of the major factors militating against good health for many people in developing nations; however, the high demand for bushmeat is often ecologically unsustainable, and the resulting declines in wildlife can have widespread impacts on ecosystem structure and function. In order to develop plans for scaling back hunting to less damaging levels, it is first necessary to understand why, and under what conditions, people utilize this natural resource (Kight, 2012, http://www.science20.com/anthrophysis/predicting_bushmeat_consumption_rural_households-87657). Awesu (1980) also mentioned that experts have suggested that there are some factors affecting the rate of consumption in so many countries. Hence this study investigated socio-economic factors of human population in Abeokuta metropolis of Ogun State that contribute to the consumption of wild birds and reptiles.

1 Survey methods
1.1   Study Area
The study was carried out in Abeokuta metropolis. The town is the capital of Ogun State, in the south-western part of Nigeria. It is situated about 1 000 km North of Lagos and 70 km South West of Ibadan. The majority of people in Abeokuta are the Egbas who are local indigenes. The town comprises of two Local Government Areas; Abeokuta North LGA and Abeokuta South LGA. Abeokuta North is located between longitude 40°37′ N, while Abeokuta South is at latitude 7°58′ E. The city being a cosmopolitan city, is inhabited by various economic rational. The survey was carried out in markets where wild birds and reptiles are sold within the town.

1.2   Methodology
A reconnaissance survey of markets were carried out in Abeokuta metropolis to know where wild birds and reptiles are been sold. The survey revealed that four markets were prominent in the sales of wild birds and reptiles for consumption within the study area; they include Obantoko, Itoku, Iberekodo and Brewery. Obantoko and Itoku fall within Abeokuta South Local Government Area (LGA), while Iberekodo and Brewery are in Abeokuta North LGA. Two hundred questionnaires were randomly administered in the four markets.

1.3   Data collection
Primary data were collected through the admin- istration of questionnaires to garner information from consumers of Wild birds and Reptiles in the study area. Fifty (50) questionnaires were administered randomly in each market to wild birds and reptiles buyers. Two hundred (200) respondents were randomly sampled in all. The questionnaires aimed at collecting information on socio-economic characteristics of respondents, frequency of purchase, reason for purchase, preference for consumption and other non-demographic variables.

1.4   Method of data analysis
Data were analyzed using percentages; while regression analysis was also used to determine the socio-economic factor (local government area, gender, occupation, age bracket, marital status, academic level, size of family, religion and income) that contribute to the consumption of wild birds and reptiles in Abeokuta metropolis.

Y = f (X1, X2, X3, X4, X5, X6, X7).
Where Y stands for Consumption of Bush meat
Where X1 = age
X2 = marital status
X3 = academic background
X4 = family size
X5 = gender
X6 = religion
X7 = income

2 Results and Discussions
The result shows (Table 1) that 42.5% of the consumers were between 31 and 40 years old, 38% were between 18 and 30 years of age, about 13% were between 41 and 50 years and those that were 51 years and above accounted for about 5%. This is an indication that wild birds and reptiles consumers cuts across different age groups. It could be further observed from Table1 that about 78% of the consumers were married while about 22% of them were single. From the educational distribution in, about 46% of the consumers had tertiary education, close to 11.5% had no formal education and those that had primary and secondary education accounted for about 20.5% and 22% respectively. This shows that respondents with tertiary education consume reptiles and wild birds most. About 43.5% of respondents with family size of between 1 and 3 reveals the highest level of consumption of wild birds and reptiles. In addition, 50.5% of the consumers were Muslims while 44% practice Christianity and other religion accounted for about 5.5%. This implies that the consumption of wild bird and reptile meat is acceptable to all religions and it was evident in the observations of the consumers (Table 2) where 52% of them said the consumption of wild birds and reptiles has no implication on their religion.

 

Table 1 Demographics rating of respondents

 

 

Table 2 Frequency distribution of non-demographic responses


Table 2 shows the non-demographic distribution of respondents which include reason for purchase, preference, availability, safety and willingness. About 34% of respondents purchase wild birds and reptiles for medicinal purposes. This observation agrees with several publications including Scoones et al (1992) which reported that, wildlife products have high medicinal value. It was also observed that close to 32% of respondents purchased for consumption purposes, 14.5% purchased for the taste/flavour, 17% purchase for their nutritional value while 2.5% were
indecisive. In addition, 77.5% of respondents consume occasionally, 6.0% consume frequently, close to 13% consume rarely and about 6% of the respondents had no response. Owing to the taste of the meat, 58% of the consumers have a taste preference for a particular species. As shown in Table 2, about 96% of the respondents reported that wild birds and reptiles are safe for human consumption. This reveals that majority of the people have no safety constraint in consumption of wild birds and reptiles. However, 38.5% and 29% are willing and very willing respectively to stick solely to the consumption of wild birds or reptiles if either of them is found to have a nutritional advantage over other bush meat species. This corroborate the findings of Oduntan et al (2012), where 85.7% of respondents with family size of seven and above were very willing to accept Edible Frog for regular consumption, if it is proved comparatively more nutritious than other sources of animal protein. Since the more number of people in a family, the more likely the challenge and pressure to meet up with nutritional demands. This findings further emphasis that that wildlife exploitation in Nigeria are not activities in which people engage in for the purpose of deriving leisure, rather it is an activity associated with the upliftment of living standard and wellbeing of people (Akinyemi and Oduntan, 2004).

Result (Table 3) also shows that Age (p<0.05; t=2.564) is the only socio factor that contribute significantly to the consumption of wild birds and reptiles in the study area. From the result, it may be inferred that the older the respondent the more the preference for wild birds and reptiles meat. This can be traced to the comparative advantage of low fat (cholesterol) and other nutritional advantages that characterizes most bush meat when compared with conventional meats as reported by several scholars including (Abulude, 2007; Oduntan et al., 2012). Although income of respondents in the study area does not have significant contribution (p<0.05; t = -2.117) to the consumption of wild birds and reptiles; however a negative t-value for income indicates that the lower the income of respondents, the more the choice of wild birds and reptiles (bush meat) consumption. This corroborate the findings of Nuwer (2012, http://green.blogs. nytimes.com/2011/12/27/could-chicken-be-the-new-monkey-someday) who described that the wealthier a family, the higher its odd of consuming bush meat among Gabonese residents.

 

Table 3 Regression analysis of variables


3 Conclusion and recommendations
Age of respondents is the only socio-economic factor that contributes significantly to the consumption of wild birds and reptiles in Abeokuta metropolis, Ogun State. This study further emphasized that exploitation of bush meats is associated with both wellbeing and standard of living of the people in the area. The following policy recommendations were made based on the findings:
1 Controlled hunting or Seasonal hunting should be encouraged in our Game and Forest Reserves in a systematic way to further uplift the living standard of people in the area.
2 Domestication and multiplication of desirable species should also be encouraged and promoted by the Government to reduce hunting pressure and at the same time meet the demand of the public for wildlife species as bush meat.

Reference
Abulude F.O., 2007, Determination of the chemical composition of bush meats found in Nigeria, Am. J. Food Technol., 2(3): 153-160
http://dx.doi.org/10.3923/ajft.2007.153.160

Ajayi S.S., 1971, Wildlife as a source of protein in Nigeria: Some priorities for development, The Nigerian Field, 36(3): 115-127

Akinyemi A.F., and Oduntan O.O., 2004, An evaluation of the effect of conservation legislation on wildlife offenses in the Yankari national park, Bauchi, Bauchi State, Nigeria Journal of Forestry, 34 (1): 28-35

Awesu S.B., 1980, The biology and management of reptiles

Ayanda J.O., and Ayeni J.S.O., 1980, The implications of studies of the husbandry practices and social acceptability of guinea fowl to Africa in 1980s, a paper presented at the 6th African Wildlife Conference, 13~19, July, Nairobi, Kenya

Cabbinnah C.O., 1992, Farming for increased protein intake, Cambridge University programme, pp.44-93

Milner-Gulland E.J., and Bennett E.L., 2003, Wild meat: the bigger picture, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 18(7): 351-357
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0169-5347(03)00123-X

Oduntan O.O., Soaga J.A., and Jenyo-Oni A., 2012, Comparison of edible frog (Rana esculenta) and other bush meat types: Proximate composition, social status and acceptability, E3 Journals of Environmental Research and Management, 3(7): 124-128

Onadeko S.A., Adegbola P.O., and Oladoyinbo E.O., 1989, Consumptive utilization of Wildlife in Oyo state, Proceeding of Biennal Conference of Ecological Society of Nigeria, 14~19, August, Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, Ibadan, Oyo State, Niegra

Pomeroy D., and Ssekabiira D., 1990, An analysis of the distribution of terrestrial birds in Africa, African Journal of Ecology, 28(1): 1-13
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2028.1990.tb01131.x

Scoones i., Melnyk M., and Pretty J.N., eds., 1992, The hidden harvest: wild foods and agricultural systems: A literature review and annotated bibliography, Sustainable Agriculture Programme, International Institute for Environment and Development, London, UK, pp.256

Wilkie D.S., Starkey M., Abernethy, K., Effa E.N., Telfer, P., and Godoy R., 2005, Role of prices and wealth in consumer demand for bushmeat in Gabon, Central Africa, Conservation Biology, 19(1): 268-274
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1523-1739.2005.00372.x

International Journal of Molecular Evolution and Biodiversity
• Volume 2
View Options
. PDF(489KB)
. FPDF
. HTML
. Online fPDF
Associated material
. Readers' comments
Other articles by authors
pornliz suckporn porndick pornstereo . O.O. Oduntan
. D.O. Ogunyode
. S.O.  Ojo
. S.A. Onadeko
Related articles
. Wildlife
. Bush meat
. Preference
. Demographic
. Status
Tools
. Email to a friend
. Post a comment