Assessment of wildlife conservation awareness level among secondary school students in Imo State Nigeria
This study aims at evaluating the level of wildlife conservation awareness among senior secondary school students in three distinct secondary schools, located at Owerri West Local Government Area of Imo State, Nigeria. The schools include: Ihiagwa secondary school (ISS), El-Betty Model secondary school (EMSS) and Nekede secondary school (NSS). Thirty copies of structured questionnaire were randomly administered to each school, given a total of 90 copies. Data were collected on personal characteristics of respondents (age, sex, and class), conservation awareness and level of awareness; and was analyze based using descriptive statistic. The results showed that the highest respondents (73.3%) fall within the age bracket 13-16 years old. Fifty-seven-point eight percent (57.8%) were females while (42.2%) were males. (37.8%) were from senior secondary one (SSI) while (31.1%) were from both senior secondary two (SS2) and senior secondary three (SS3) students, respectively. The conservation awareness result revealed that, majority (>70%) of the respondents were not aware of wildlife conservation (P<0.05) while (<30%) were aware (P>0.05). Those who are aware are not practicing wildlife conservation. This study recommends that conservation awareness education, mostly practice should be incorporated into the secondary school curriculum; to start on time to teach young children their responsibilities regarding wildlife conservation. Also, to create conservation awareness in all levels of education, through outreach, posters, news broadcast, interviews, and public lectures.