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Research Articles

Utilization of selected non-vertebrate wildlife species in Niger delta, Nigeria

Authors:

H M Ijeomah ,

University of Port Harcourt, P.M.B.5323, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NG
About H M
Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management
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A Alagoa

University of Port Harcourt, P.M.B.5323, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NG
About A
Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management
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Abstract

Non vertebrate wildlife resources are the priority means of survival for most rural households in developing countries due to their abundance and free accessibility, but factors militating against their availability and utilisation in the Niger Delta of Nigeria are yet to be known. The study was therefore conducted to investigate both consumptive and non-consumptive utilisation of Crab Callinectes spp; Oyster, Ostrea edulis; Periwinkle, Littorina irrorata; and the Raphia palm weevil Larvae, Rhynchophorus phoenicis and the factors militating against utilisation of the species in the study area. Bassambiri and Ogbolomabiri in Bayelsa State and Isaka and Okrika Communities of Rivers State were selected at random from other communities in Niger Delta with abundance of these selected species. Data for the study were obtained through a set of structured questionnaires, in-depth interview and personal observation. A set of questionnaires were administered systematically to 4% of household representatives in the four selected communities. In all, a total of 301 households were sampled in the four communities. Data obtained were analysed using descriptive statistics such as frequencies and percentages; while Chi-square was used to test significance of associations. Utilisation of Crab, Periwinkle, Oyster and Raphia palm beetle (Edible maggot) is not significantly associated with age, occupation, level of education, and gender but household size (X2 = 158.457a) and knowledge of the species (X2 = 166.699a). The species are used for various consumptive and non consumptive purposes in the communities. Most respondents utilise Crab (71.9%), Oyster (72.2%) and Periwinkle (78.5%) as food while some respondents sell them for income generation. Crab is sold at 4 individuals for N200.00K (1.29 USD) only. Among the four species studied the Edible maggot is the least used as food (28.7%) and the least known by respondents (63.0%).The flesh of these species are used in preparing cultural delicacies such as Crab soup and Periwinkle soup in Nembe community. In Nembe, Shells of Periwinkle and Oyster are used by respondents in checking erosion, elevating frontages, solidifying marshy grounds, as substitutes for gravel during construction and as source of calcium in feed meals. The factors militating against utilisation of these non vertebrate wildlife species were identified as skin irritation after consumption, cultural belief, religious belief and limited knowledge of respondents about the species. Households in Okrika and Isaka do not utilise the edible mag- got, as they lack knowledge of the species. These non-vertebrate species are of utmost importance to the rural people of the Niger Delta. Their decline and depletion could result in loss of income.


Tropical Agricultural Research and Extension 15(4): 2012: page 108-114

How to Cite: Ijeomah, H.M. & Alagoa, A., (2015). Utilization of selected non-vertebrate wildlife species in Niger delta, Nigeria. Tropical Agricultural Research and Extension. 15(4), pp.108–114. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/tare.v15i4.5261
Published on 23 Jun 2015.
Peer Reviewed

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