Challenges of captive breeding and re-introduction of selected primate species into their natural habitat in Cross River State, Nigeria
This study investigates the factors influencing successful captive breeding and re-introduction of selected primate species in the wild using Centre for Education, Research and Conservation of Primates and Nature (CERCOPAN) and Drill Rehabilitation and Breeding Center (PANDRILLUS) of Cross Rivers State as case studies. Data for the study were collected through interviews, observations and a set of structured questionnaire. Data collected were presented in form of frequency and percentages, while Chi square was used to test for associations. The most pressing challenges in CERCOPAN include; inability of released primates to cope in the wild (34.78%) as they returned back to the breeding centres (30.34%); lack of monitoring equipments (26.09%) and the long period of monitoring released primates (26.09%); raising of self-sustaining population (21.74%) and unavailability of release sites for some species (17.39%). Re - introduction has not been carried out in PANDRILLUS since the inception of the project because of inadequacy of protective measures (54.17%), lack of monitoring equipments (41.67%), insufficient number of experts (33.33%), health challenges (29.17%) and insecurity (83.33%). CERCOPAN overcomes these challenges through constant monitoring (69.57%), provision of monitoring equipments (26.09%), soft release (8.70%) and health screening (8.70%), while PANDRILLUS, overcomes them through environmental education (87.50%), purchase of monitoring equipments (79.17%), provision of radio caller systems (66.67%) and sourcing of fund from local and foreign bodies (50.00%). Chi square tests showed no significant associations between awareness level of captive breeding and re-introduction process among project host communities and type of conservation organization (X2 = 0.54) at p.0.05.; and respondentsf level of awareness of the processes involved in captive breeding and re-introduction (X2 = 0.6484) and type of conservation organization (p>0.05). Thus the awareness level of the captive breeding centres among host communities is high, but awareness level of the processes involved in captive breeding and re-introduction, among respondents is low in the two institutions.
Key Words: Ecological restoration, Wildlife orphanage, Rehabilitation, Conservation organization, Congo Basin, Biodiversity