Contributions of grasscutter (Thryonomis swinderianus) hunting to the livelihood of communities in Abi local government area, Cross River state, Nigeria
The study assessed the contributions of Grasscutter (Thryonomis swinderianus) hunting to the livelihood of communities in Abi Local Government Area, Cross River State, Nigeria. Data were collected through the administration of a set of self-structured questionnaires, interviews, group discussion and personal observation. Multistage sampling technique was used for the study. In the first stage, six communities noted for high concentration of grasscutter population were selected, namely Adadama, Ebom, Ekureku, Igbo Imabana, Itigidi and Usumutong. In the next stage, fifteen hunters who engaged in grasscutter hunting were randomly selected from each of the six communities and fifteen questionnaires were thereafter administered on them. In all a total of 90 questionnaires were administered for the study. Data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistics in form of frequency, tables and percentages. Budgetary Techniques and Net Bushmeat Income models were used to assess the performance level of the respondents. Most respondents 87.8% agreed that grasscutter hunting contribute to their family well-being, 17.8% use grasscutter as source of protein and 16.7% consume grasscutter for food. Additionally, most respondents (90.0%) agreed that grasscutter hunting is a profitable venture. Hence, 62.2% of the respondents engaged in grasscutter trade. Result from the study shows that hunters make profits from grasscutter hunting with gross margin of <strike>N36,000</strike> and Net bush meat income of <strike>N</strike>17,500 monthly. In other to sustain availability of grasscutter and to boost local economy, grasscutter domestication should be encouraged in addition to hunting from the wild.
Keywords: Abi Local Government, grasscutter, hunting, income, local economy