Distribution and diversity of flora and fauna in International Institute Of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) forest and nature reserve, Ibadan, Oyo state, Nigeria
The study examined the distribution and diversity of plant and animal species at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture forest and nature reserve, it was aimed at assessing the numbers of plant and animal species and the areas where they occur in the study sites. Plant and animal species were enumerated through direct on-site field observation for fifteen months to provide data that could enhance the management and sustainable utilization of the forest. Eighty-seven plant species from 39 families were found in the area; 55 species were trees while shrubs and grasses were 32 species. The common tree species found in the area were Elaeis guineensis (32.4%) Funtumia elastica (11.4%) Newbouldia laevis (7.6%) and Lecaniodiscus cupanioides (4.5%). Two particularly interesting climber species found, were Pararistolochia goldieana and Caesalpinia bonduc. Also, there are several wild relatives of cultivated yams which grow naturally these are Dioscorea bulbifera, Dioscorea dumentorum, Dioscorea hirtiflora, Dioscorea togoensis, Dioscorea praehensilis and Dioscorea Prevssii. These form potential gene pool/resources for improvement of the cultivated yam. Ninety-two species of wild animals from 45 families were also found in the study area. There were 66 species of birds from 28 families, 3 species of reptiles from 3 families and 23 species of mammals from 16 families. A total of 11,632 sightings were recorded. The most abundant animal species found in the area were Corvus albus (7.8%), Viverra civetta (7.4%), Cephalophus rufilatus (7.2%) and Dendrocygna viduata (5.4%). The endemic Ibadan malimbe (Malimbus ibadanensis) was also sighted in the study site and several other birds which normally winter around the lake.
Key words: Ecology, Distribution, Diversity, Forest, Nature Reserve, IITA,