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Research Article

Uncontrolled Bush Burning in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria: Potential Causes and Impacts on Biodiversity  

Sylvester Chibueze Izah1 , Tariwari C.N. Angaye1 , Ayobami O. Aigberua2 , Joseph Okechukwu Nduka3
1 Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State, Nigeria
2 Department of Chemical Sciences, Faculty of Science, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State, Nigeria
3 Rivers State Ministry of Environment, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
Author    Correspondence author
International Journal of Molecular Ecology and Conservation, 2017, Vol. 7, No. 1   doi: 10.5376/ijmec.2017.07.0001
Received: 19 Oct., 2017    Accepted: 04 Dec., 2017    Published: 15 Dec., 2017
© 2017 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., Angaye T.C.N., Aigberua A.O., and Nduka J.O., 2017, Uncontrolled bush burning in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria: potential causes and impacts on biodiversity, International Journal of Molecular Ecology and Conservation, 7(1): 1-15 (doi: 10.5376/ijmec.2017.07.0001)

Abstract

The Niger Delta region of Nigeria is one of the largest wetland and biodiversity hotspots in Africa that inhabit several endemic species. Biodiversity including plants, animals and microbes have several economic importance to human and its ecosystem. Of recent, the intensity of bush burning in the Niger Delta has increased. Bush burning is among the leading cause of decline in composition and abundance of biodiversity. This study evaluated the potential causes of bush burning, impacts on biodiversity and possible options for mitigation in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. The study found that quest for bush meat (i.e. major source of animal protein), burning of solid wastes, precarious discharge of cigarette remains and deliberate uncontrolled in-situ burning by farmers as the leading cause of bush burning. Bush burning portends adverse effects like; habitat fragmentation, destruction of medicinal plant, extinction of species in the wild, loss of food sources, loss of raw material that can be useful for several art work, wood fuel, construction and shelter materials, and disruption of ecological processes including biogeochemical cycling. The paper concludes by suggesting pasture management, wastes management, sensitization, enactment and implementation of bush burning laws and specifying punishment for offenders, and introduction of biodiversity conservation techniques in school curriculum as potential option for mitigation.

Keywords
Ecology; Environment; Niger Delta; Wetland
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International Journal of Molecular Ecology and Conservation
• Volume 7
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. Sylvester Chibueze Izah
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