Rapid Assessment of Protected area Pressures and Threats in Nigeria National Parks
Regular evaluation of protected area operations can enable policy makers develop strategic responses to pervasive management problems. Pressures and threats in seven National Parks of the National Park Service (NPS) were therefore assessed using the Rapid Assessment and Prioritization of Protected Area Management (RAPPAM) methodology. The parks were Cross River National Park (CRNP), Okomu National Park (ONP), Old Oyo National Park (OONP), Gashaka –Gumti National Park (GGNP), Kainji Lake National Park (KLNP), Chad Basin National Park (CBNP) and Kamuku National Park (KNP). Quantitative data was collected from 207 rangers and 49 senior staff including park records. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and Spearman correlation. The parks had professionals (1.06%), technical staff 33 (2.19%), rangers 1094 (72.55%), and administrative staff 266 (17.64%). Personnel cost (19.6%), administrative operations (36.9%) and conservation of park resources (3.4%) were significantly (p<0.05) different. The greatest threats facing the parks were Grazing (57.76%), Hunting (24.17%), Logging (6.17%) and Fishing (5.06%). Threats and pressures were positively and significantly correlated (r=0.75, P<0.05) with vulnerability. The staff profile and inappropriate budgetary allocation to conservation activities might be responsible for the overall pressures and threats recorded in the parks during the study.
KEYWORDS: Threats, Pressures, Protected Areas, National Park, Management