Evaluation of wildlife pests on rural farms in Guma and Gwer-East Local Government Areas of Benue State, Nigeria
The study evaluated the challenges confronting farmers as a result of wildlife attack on rural farms in Guma and Gwer – East Local Government Areas of Benue State. Two villages (Igbor and Abinsi) were purposively selected for the study because of their high rate of farming activities. Data was collected with the aid semi-structured household questionnaire administered randomly to fifty (50) heads of household in each study site. The results were analyzed using frequency of counts, percentages and student t-test. Collard sunbirds (Nectarinia cuprea), grass-cutter (Thryonomys swinderianus), nile rat (Arvicanthis niloticus) and redtailed monkey (Cercopithecus ascanius) were the most disturbing crop raiders (pests) as indicated by 13%, 25%, 12% and 6% of respondents respectively. However, 13% of the respondents could not ascertain the most destructive wildlife on their farms. There was no significant difference ( P ≤ 0.05) between Igbor and Abinsi in relation to pest type. The study also revealed that farmers in the area control wildlife pests by use of chemical (40%), mechanical (33%) and biological (18%) methods. Only 9% pests were involved in direct killing. Human-wildlife conflicts could possibly resolved as reported by respondents through mixed farming, agro- forestry practices and wildlife conservation education. This perhaps could reduce the unnecessary destruction of wildlife habitats and human food resources.
Keywords: Conservation, wildlife pest, raid, conflict, habitat