Wildlife based business activities in Ogbe–Ijaw market of Delta state, Nigeria
Wildlife based business activities in Ogbe Ijaw market of Delta State, Nigeria was studied with the aim of analyzing the nature of the business, parts of wildlife species sold, source of buyers for the products, means of procuring the products, channels for marketing the products, and risks involved in procuring wildlife products sold in the market. Data for the study were collected through Field survey, Observation, indepth interview and informal discussions with hunters, marketers and buyers of wildlife products. Data obtained were presented in form of tables. Among the abundant wildlife species sold in Ogbe Ijaw market are: Lesser African threadfin (Galeoides decadactylus), Dwarf Crocodile (Osteolamus tetrapis), Saltwater Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), Giant Tortoise (Testudo graeca), Kob (Kobus kob),Duiker (Sylvicapia grimmia), Cane rat (Thryonomys swinderanus), Africa Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus), African fish eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer) and Mona Monkey (Cercopithecus mona) sold in different forms for various purposes. The bladder of the Lesser African threadfin (Galeoides decadactylus), after being processed is majorly exported to Hong Kong. The processed skin of different species of crocodile are sold to buyers from northern Nigeria, who utilise them in tannery for production of quality leather while the flesh and eggs of the species are sold for consumption. The African Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus)is bought for pet while the fresh slimy fluid from Snail (Archachatina marginata) is medicinally utilsed to ease delivery during pregnancy. The processed and dried skins of many wildlife species are used as ceremonial garbs during cultural events. There is no regulation on species, quantity and age of wild animals harvested as a hunter once caught ten individuals of different age classes of crocodile in a single hunting expedition. Wildlife based business is of immense economic benefit to the operators, however, business opportunities are yet to be maximized and harvesting of endangered species should be stopped.
Keywords: Wildlife business, Biodiversity utilization, Niger Delta