Diagnostic assessment of mammals in conservation areas of presco concession, Plogbo, Edo state, Nigeria

  • E.M. Isikhuemen
  • G.O. Oyibotie
  • O.T. Aremu
Keywords: Anthropogenic threats, declining ecosystems, non-timber resources, peripheral communities, species diversity, wildlife corridor,

Abstract

A two-phase assessment of mammalian richness and diversity was conducted in the 4,600 ha Conservation Areas in Presco concession, Ologbo, Edo State, Nigeria. Using both direct and indirect techniques, 20 line/point transects (ca. 2% sampling intensity) and 24 (ca. 2.5% sampling intensity) were assessed in September, 2016 (wet season) and March, 2017 (dry season). The Bushnell binoculars was used to identify distant/fleeing animals while Nikon Laser Rangefinder (Forestry 500) was used to determine vegetation height. Assessment of floristics was largely anecdotal. Data were subjected to Shannon-Weiner and Brillouin diversity indices, and descriptive statistics. Wet season entry revealed seven families, 12 species and 118 individuals while Shannon-Weiner and Brillouin diversity indices were 2.27 and 2.10 respectively. The dry season entry revealed eight families, 14 species and 123 individuals while Shannon-Weiner and Brillouin diversity indices were 2.46 and 2.27 respectively. The Red river hog (Potamochoerus porcus) had the most abundant population in both wet and dry seasons. The ‘White throated monkey (Cercopithecus erythrogaster)’ was the only vulnerable species on the IUCN Red List (2019-3) recorded; however, based on National Biodiversity Approach (NBSAP), five wildlife species were endangered. Among flora, 66 tree/shrub/liane species spread across 25 families were encountered in the eco-zones. Despite the palpable drawbacks occasioned by illegal logging, poaching, unauthorized grazing/wildfires and resultant loss of species and ecosystems, the conservation areas have very rich potentials for transformation into wildlife sanctuary/rescue centre and repository for phyto-demographic and socio-cultural studies. For the CAs/buffer zones to be left undisturbed, alternative livelihood projects should be established for enclave/fringing communities and all forms of logging and poaching activities prohibited.

Keywords: Anthropogenic threats, declining ecosystems, non-timber resources, peripheral communities, species diversity, wildlife corridor,

Published
2021-05-10
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN:
print ISSN: 2141-1778