Mammalian and reptilian species expected and observed in roadside wildlife markets of southwest Nigeria and the implications for conservation

  • M.O. Mustafa
  • I.G. Akinyemi
  • B.A. Oseni
  • M.O. Oladapo
  • A.N. Ejizu
  • C.O. Ezekwe
  • G.I. Okpara
  • O. Ajao
  • C.T. Olateru
Keywords: Wildlife, markets, mammals, reptiles, utilization, conservation.

Abstract

Wildlife provides both consumptive and non-consumptive utilities to human beings around the world. Under wild animal utilization as food and medicine, some wildlife species have been overharvested. Coupled with environmental degradation affecting wildlife species in their habitats, the need to evaluate wildlife populations in Southwest Nigeria is therefore essential. Twenty-three wildlife markets along five highways in Southwest Nigeria were surveyed for two years to determine the pattern of mammalian and reptilian species occurrence; wild animal species assessed were freshly dead and roasted ones. The species named by literatures were tagged Expected while those found in the sales points were referred to as Observed. The names of species found were matched with literatures that established them. Indirect method of species of identification was questionnaire use among stakeholders of wildlife marketing (hunters, traders and farmers) selected through Systematic Random Sampling (Odd Method). This approach firstly identified the wildlife species being sold in the markets and their vernacular (Yoruba) names. These names were linked with literatures that confirmed their scientific names. Results revealed that twelve mammalian and three reptilian species were absent in all road markets. Implication of results is that mammals and reptiles which were absent in all market Roads are those whose populations have reduced in the wild. Recommendations for Government sensitisation on animals absent in the Sales Points about hunting pressure reduction through print and electronic media were first made. Conservation education among forest exploitation professionals, campaign against forest degradation and establishment of more forest reserves and National parks by Nigerian Government were made too.

Published
2022-05-25
Section
Articles

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print ISSN: 2617-3948