An assessment of present threats and associated conservation implication to the Oban division Forest Cross river national park; Nigeria’s biodiversity hotspot
In recent years the Oban Division of Cross River National Park has received little research attention on its conservation status and species composition. It is known to be one of the most biodiversity-rich protected areas in West Africa. Hence current knowledge of its status is necessary for making informed management decisions for the continuous and improved protection of the area. This study sought to provide recent information on the conservation status of the area and its species. We used reconnaissance survey to assess present threats associated with the area and related this to encounter rate of faunal species in the area. Thirteen potential present threats to the area and its species were recognized. The encounter rate of primate species was 0.373 per km2, while mammals and large birds had an encounter rate of 1.148 km2 and 1.234 km2 respectively. Low encounter rates of these faunal groups suggests their population is declining in the area. Hence protection measures need to be improved in this important remaining forest in Nigeria to protect its species from continuous decline and its integrity as Nigeria’s biodiversity hot spot.
Key Words: Biodiversity, Conservation, Hotspot, Hunting, Threats.