Socio-economic Impact of Seasonal Wildfire on Forest and Wildlife Biodiversity in Ogun State  

J.A Soaga , A.L.A. Shotuyo , J.G. Fatoki
Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management,Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria
Author    Correspondence author
International Journal of Molecular Evolution and Biodiversity, 2013, Vol. 3, No. 2   doi: 10.5376/ijmeb.2013.03.0002
Received: 03 Apr., 2013    Accepted: 12 Apr., 2013    Published: 08 Jul., 2013
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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:

Soaga et al., 2013, Socio-economic impact of seasonal wildfire on forest and wildlife biodiversity in ogun state, International Journal of Molecular Evolution and Biodiversity, Vol.3, No.2, 5~10 (doi: 10.5376/ijmeb.2013.03.0002)

Abstract

The paper examined Socio-economic impact of seasonal wildfire on biodiversity in Ogun State, especially in plantations and farmlands. Wildfire destroys ecosystems with loss of habitat and genetic resources. However, wildfire generally has historical record of its use as a tool by early man for clearing forest for agriculture to increase food production due to rising population. The forest is cleared and burnt despite providing array of goods and invaluable ecological services. The forest provides habitat for wildlife and once destroyed the fauna resources is equally destroyed. Consequently, if wildfire is prevented man stand to gain a lot from the conservation effort especially on genetic resources that will be protected within the forest. An evaluation of losses revealed that 70% of Nigeria's tree population are lost annually to forest fire with forest crop valued at over 19 million. Yet the sources of fires have not changed- natural and artificial. The artificial source resulting from human activities towards economic emancipation remained the major source of concern with rising population and increasing demand for food. Field experiments at Forestry research Institute of Nigeria showed that both early and late burning have effect on tree population with late burning having major effect on tree population. Late burning recorded 54% survival for trees, early burning 69.8% and protected plot recorded 73.8% survival. This indicates that wildfire should be prevented from all ecosystems and vegetation. Animal species however recorded highest number of 22 in farmland after using fire as a tool in land preparation with secondary regrowth recording the least population of 107. The effect of fire on plants and animals therefore underscore the need for prevention of wildfire and conservation to reduce ecosystem destruction, animal susceptibility to diseases, wildlife destruction and consequent genetic erosion of biodiversity in Ogun State. It is therefore recommended that policy statement must ensure enforcement and compliance with legislation on wildfire across the state.

Keywords
Biodiversity; Early burning; Late burning; Genetic erosion; Ecosystem destruction
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