Research Article

Changes in the Protected Areas of Bayelsa State, Nigeria  

Sylvester Chibueze Izah , Enetimi Idah Seiyaboh
Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State, Nigeria
Author    Correspondence author
International Journal of Molecular Evolution and Biodiversity, 2018, Vol. 8, No. 1   doi: 10.5376/ijmeb.2018.08.0001
Received: 29 Mar., 2018    Accepted: 09 May, 2018    Published: 30 May, 2018
© 2018 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:

Izah S.C., and Seiyaboh E.I., 2018, Changes in the protected areas of Bayelsa State, Nigeria, International Journal of Molecular Evolution and Biodiversity, 8(1): 1-11 (doi: 10.5376/ijmeb.2018.08.0001)

Abstract

Bayelsa state is one of the core states in the Niger Delta region that inhabits several species of biodiversity of global significance. Six major protected forest reserves (viz: Taylor creek, Apoi creek, Nun river, Edumanon, Ikibiri creek and Igbedi creek) with natural, ecological and cultural importance have been gazetted. This study reviews changes in the conserved area. The study found that developmental projects (construction works mainly due urbanization, industrialization, etc) and quest for food (through agricultural activities) as the main cause of decline in size of the protected areas. The study also found that Taylor creek, Nun river and Edumanon forest reserve have the highest level of shrinkage. Based on species diversity, individual species is under intense pressure with regard to abundance and distribution due to excessive loss of habitats (through logging, deforestation, bush burning and clearing for farming purposes) and hunting. As such, some vital species which are found in these forest reserves within the last 3-5 decades have gone on extinction in the area. Among the 6 forest reserves, Apoi creek is the only forest reserve in Ramsar-listed coastal and freshwater wetlands in Bayelsa state. The forest is also the major stronghold of the endemic Niger Delta Red Colobus monkey (Procolobus epieni). The study provided information on the protected areas in Bayelsa state as well as their challenges. Hence, there is the need for effective implementation and surveillance of legislation/law concerning biodiversity conservation within and around the protected areas.

Keywords
Bayelsa state; Biodiversity; Conserved area; Ecology; Niger delta; Wetland
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International Journal of Molecular Evolution and Biodiversity
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