Exploitation of Wild Animals in Obafemi Owode Local Government Area, Ogun State, South West, Nigeria  

A.L.A. Shotuyo , O.O.  Oduntan
Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management,Federal University of Agriculture,Abeokuta, P.M.B. 2240, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria
Author    Correspondence author
International Journal of Molecular Evolution and Biodiversity, 2013, Vol. 3, No. 3   doi: 10.5376/ijmeb.2013.03.0003
Received: 15 Apr., 2013    Accepted: 22 Apr., 2013    Published: 09 Jul., 2013
© 2013 BioPublisher Publishing Platform
Preferred citation for this article:

Shotuyo and Oduntan, 2013, Exploitation of Wild Animals in Obafemi Owode Local Government Area, Ogun State, South West, Nigeria, International Journal of Molecular Evolution and Biodiversity, Vol.3, No.3, 11~14 (doi: 10.5376/ijmeb.2013.03.0003)

Abstract

The study investigated the reasons for exploiting, utilization and destruction of wild animals in Obaemi Owode Local Government Area of Ogun State, south west Nigeria. Well-structured questionnaires were used to obtain information from various categories of respondents, farmers; hunters, male, female, young and old etc. Wild animals were exploited and utilised for food (34.5%), sale (31.3%), medicine (15.6%), tradition (12.0%), farmland protection (5.0%) and trophy (0.9%). The animals mostly affected were Tryonomys swinderianus, Protoxerus stangeri, Cephalophus spp., Squamata spp., Cricetomys gambianus and Lepus spp.. These are still seen due to their size, short gestation period and their large litter size. While animals such as Loxodonta cyclotis, Syncerus caffer, Pan troglodities and Phacochoerus aethiopicus are no longer seen in the area. Other factors responsible for the high rate of wild animal exploitation are: unemployment, which drove must youth to hunting as the only means of survival, poverty among the population and low level of awareness of wildlife conservation education. Creation of employment, effective wildlife legislation, wildlife resources protection and public enlightenment through conservation education would go a long way in reducing the problem.

Keywords
Obafemi Owode; Utilization; Wild animals; Exploitation

Wildlife as a heritage and endowment to Nigeria is indisputable in many respects. Over the years, it has contributed to the socio economic and environmental development of the country. Wild animals in form of bushmeat constitute a principal source of protein for people living in the rural areas (Charter, 1970;  Asibey, 1974; Afolayan, 1989, unpublished data). Other importance of wildlife includes, tourism, revenue from export of wildlife by-products (Asibey, 1974), employment opportunities, local participation, education, research and conservation.

Man has always rule over all other forms of life. He obtains the basic supply for existence that is food, fibre and raw materials for the production of goods and services. Wildlife resources are being exploited and destroyed by man for various purposes and as a result many wild animal species have become extinct (Shotuyo et al., 2012).

Many species have been beyond the brink of extinction by the direct and indirect consequence of human activities. Right from ancient time when the number of animals affected was quite small, but since 1600, the number of animals killed or even driven into extinction by habitat destruction and unregulated hunting has increased rapidly (Burton, 1981). The exploitation and destruction of wild animals are the same throughout the world, but the purpose and needs of these animals varies from one community to another (Burton, 1981). For example, hunting has continued throughout the times for foods, raw materials for industries, sales or for culture e.g. Egungun Festival in South Western Nigeria and medicinal purpose (Oduntan et al., 2012)

Man and wild animals conflict has also threatened the survival of certain species because of the danger they pose to man and their properties (e.g. hyena, grass mouse, etc.) or because of cultural reason and belief e.g. India python (Python analurus) and giant rat (Cricetomys gambianus) (Soaga et al., 2012).

However, one can not underestimate the role of attitudinal change in the effort of biodiversity conservation. In fact attitude towards the indiscriminate harvesting and gathering of the earth animal, fish stock and flora, including medicinal plants should change or they go extinct with implication for the survival of humanity since they are the life supporting systems of the planet.

1 Methodology
1.1 Study Site

The study was conducted in Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of Ogun State of Nigeria, located between longitudes 3o45' East of the Greenwich meridian and latitude 6o45' North of the equator (Figure 1). The headquarters is at Owode town about 60 km along Lagos Abeokuta express way. The local government has tropical climate. The people are predominantly of Egba ethnic stock that have their homestead and farms in the area and are mostly farmers and hunters.
 

 

 

Figure 1 Map of Ogun State showing Obafemi-Owode local government area


The study covered the hunters and farmers in 20 villages in the local government; well-structured questionnaire was administered directly to the respondents. Data collected was subjected to descriptive statistical analysis.

2 Results and Discussion
Table 1 shows the animal species and the reasons for their exploitation in the Obafemi zone of the study area while that of Owode zone is displayed in Table 2. Exploitation for food 34.5% is the major reason for exploiting the animals in both zones while trophy 0.9% is the least reason for exploiting the animals. Tables 3 and Table 4 showed the animals that have disappeared or are now more difficult to come across in both zones respectively.
 

 

 

Table 1 Wild animals under exploitation in Obafemi zone of the study area

 

 

 

Table 2 Wild animals under exploitation in Owode zone of the study area

 

 

 

Table 3 Wild animals’ species that have disappeared from Obafemi zone

 

 

 

Table 4 Wild animals’ species that have disappeared from Owode zone


Most hunters accepted that the disappearance of the animals were due to a combination of hunting and habitat destruction, however some believed that the animals have only migrated deep into the forest as a response to human settlement (Table 5).
 

 

 

Table 5 Reason for wild animal exploitation


Indiscriminate killing of wild animal for bush meat, sale, culture or tradition cannot be ruled out (Onadeko et al., 1989) because the people in these area depends almost totally on this form of animal protein. This study shows that the area previously had variety of wild animals such as Loxodonta cyclotis, Panthera pardus and Syncerus caffer which appears to have been hunted out of the area.

3 Conclusions and Recommendation
Obafemi Owode Local Government area is rich in wildlife resources both in diversity and abundance, however many of the animals are facing high hunting pressure through killing for food, sale, medicine or culture. The level of poverty in the area like most rural communities in Nigeria encourages indiscriminate killing of wild animals to meet the people’s daily requirement.

Inadequate wildlife conservation activities in Ogun State result in the people’s ignorance of “national law” Decree No. 11 of April 1985 called the endangered species Decree coupled with lack of wildlife law enforcement encourages indiscriminate exploitation of animals over the years.

The following recommendation will ameliorate the problem of over exploitation of wild animals in the area.

Development of a viable livestock and fisheries industry, to serve as an alternative source of animal protein.

Development and execution of governmental policies and programmes will enhance desirable wildlife conservation and extension.

Domestication and multiplication of desirable species will also help to reduce hunting pressure.

Effective and efficient wildlife law enforcement machinery should be put in place at both state and local government level.

Promotion of wildlife awareness and conservation education by introducing nature study in primary school curriculum and conservation clubs in other levels of education.

Concept of sustainable utilization should be introduced, by practising of controlled hunting.

References
Asibey E.O.A., 1974, Wildlife as a source of protein in Africa south of the Sahara, Biological Conservation, 6(1): 33-39 
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0006-3207(74)90039-1

Burton R., 1981, Wildlife in danger, Macnillan Publisher, London, pp.4-5

Charter J.R., 1970, The economic value of wildlife in Nigeria, Proceedings of First Annual Conference, Forestry Association of Nigeria, Dec. 2nd, 1970

Onadeko S.A., and Meduna A.J., 1989, Consumptive utilization of wildlife in Oyo state, Proceedings of the 1989 Bienial Conference of Ecological Socirty of Nigeria, Ibadan, 1989, pp.223-225

Oduntan O.O., Ogunyode D.O., Ojo S.O. and Onadeko S.A., 2012, Socio-economic determinants of wild birds and reptiles in Abeokuta, Ogun State, International Journal of Molecular Evolution and Biodiversity, 2012, Vol. 2. No. 2, 8-12 (doi: 10-5376/ijmeb. 2012. 02. 0002).

Shotuyo A.L.A., Akintunde O.A., and Ayodele, I.A., 2012, Area activity of the grasscutter (Thryonomis swinderianus) determined through droppings in the wild, Journal of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Ecology, 5(2): 134-141

Soaga J.A. , Oduntan O.O., and Shotuyo A.L.A., 2012, Multiple land use benefits of peri-urban FOREST (Arakanga Forest Reserve, Ogun State, Nigeria): Perception of resource users and its implication, International Journal of Molecular Ecology and Conservation, Vol. 2, No. 5, 26-31(doi: 10.5376/ijmec. 2012. 02. 0005) 

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