CULTURAL AND ETHNO-MEDICINAL UTILIZATION OF SELECTED WILDLIFE SPECIES IN UMUAHIA, ABIA STATE, NIGERIA

  • M.O Mustafa Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, Humid Forest Research Station, Umuahia, Abia State
Keywords: Wildlife, ethno-medicine, culture, and utilization

Abstract

Wild animals have been integral parts of people's psyche, art and culture from the past. Wildlife use in
various medicinal preparations as element of people's cultural practices is also dated to untraceable
past. Wildlife irrespective of their evolutionary category has therefore undergone varying degrees of
utilization in disease and ailment treatment among local populace in Africa. The need to document
these animals as indices of ethno-medicine is hence imperative as a guide to determine the impact of
their use on biodiversity abundance and distribution. This article reviews the involvement of common
wild animals with their parts and products in traditional medicine within Umuahia and the suburbs in
Abia State, Nigeria. Results revealed more males than females, majorly within 51 to 60 years of age,
prevalence of elementary education and married men and women were among the stakeholders
interviewed. Documentation of wild animals and their parts with products in native medicine within
the study area showed that mammals were the most serviceable in trado-medicinal practices, followed
by reptiles, birds and invertebrates/products in decreasing order. Appropriate recommendations of
intensified government awareness campaigns to educate the members of the public, especially wildlife
stakeholders on conservation status of key wildlife species, establishment of more forest reserves and
others were made.

Author Biography

M.O Mustafa, Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, Humid Forest Research Station, Umuahia, Abia State

Wild animals have been integral parts of people's psyche, art and culture from the past. Wildlife use in
various medicinal preparations as element of people's cultural practices is also dated to untraceable
past. Wildlife irrespective of their evolutionary category has therefore undergone varying degrees of
utilization in disease and ailment treatment among local populace in Africa. The need to document
these animals as indices of ethno-medicine is hence imperative as a guide to determine the impact of
their use on biodiversity abundance and distribution. This article reviews the involvement of common
wild animals with their parts and products in traditional medicine within Umuahia and the suburbs in
Abia State, Nigeria. Results revealed more males than females, majorly within 51 to 60 years of age,
prevalence of elementary education and married men and women were among the stakeholders
interviewed. Documentation of wild animals and their parts with products in native medicine within
the study area showed that mammals were the most serviceable in trado-medicinal practices, followed
by reptiles, birds and invertebrates/products in decreasing order. Appropriate recommendations of
intensified government awareness campaigns to educate the members of the public, especially wildlife
stakeholders on conservation status of key wildlife species, establishment of more forest reserves and
others were made.

Published
2020-04-30

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 0300-368X