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Analysis of poaching activities in Kanji Lake National Park (KLNP) of Nigeria was conducted with the aim of investigating the forms and trend of encroachment experienced in the premier protected area, and to determine the locations where poaching occur. Data for the study were collected using two sets of structured questionnaires and secondary data obtained from administrative records. A set of structured questionnaires was administered randomly to 30% of households in ten selected communities close to the park. The second set of questionnaires was administered to 30% of the staff in park protection section of KLNP. In all 403 households and 53 staff members were sampled. Data on poaching arrest were obtained from administrative records. Data collected were analysed using descriptive statistics in form of frequencies of count, percentages, graphs, bar chart and pie chart. Grazing of livestock and hunting were the form of encroachment most arrested in the park between 2001 and 2009. Poachers were most attracted in the park by Animals (92.06%), fuel wood (82.13%), Herbs (73.95%), and Fish (73.95%). Between 1995 and 2009 KLNP recorded the highest arrest (372) of poachers in 1999. Increase in the number of staff of KLNP had no significant effect in the number of poachers arrested within this period. Oli and Ibbi were respectively ranked first (69.98%) and second (45.91%) by household respondents as major areas of poaching. About 52.11% of households are optimistic that poaching can be stopped while 39.5% perceived that it can only be minimized. However, 39.15% of household respondents suggested creation of employment opportunities for households as a strategy that can stop poaching in KLNP.
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Environment and Natural Resources Research; Vol. 3, No. 1; 2013
ISSN 1927-0488 E-ISSN 1927-0496
Published by Canadian Center of Science and Education
51
Analysis of Poaching Activities
in Kainji Lake National Park of Nigeria
Henry M. Ijeomah1, Augustine U. Ogogo2 & Daminola Ogbara1
1 Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria
2 Department of Forestry and Wildlife Resources Management, University of Calabar, Nigeria
Correspondence: Henry M. Ijeomah, Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management, University of Port
Harcourt, Nigeria. Tel: 234-806-034-4776. E-mail: henryijeomah@yahoo.com
Received: November 2, 2012 Accepted: December 5, 2012 Online Published: December 15, 2012
doi:10.5539/enrr.v3n1p51 URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/enrr.v3n1p51
Abstract
Analysis of poaching activities in Kanji Lake National Park (KLNP) of Nigeria was conducted with the aim of
investigating the forms and trend of encroachment experienced in the premier protected area, and to determine
the locations where poaching occur. Data for the study were collected using two sets of structured questionnaires
and secondary data obtained from administrative records. A set of structured questionnaires was administered
randomly to 30% of households in ten selected communities close to the park. The second set of questionnaires
was administered to 30% of the staff in park protection section of KLNP. In all 403 households and 53 staff
members were sampled. Data on poaching arrest were obtained from administrative records. Data collected were
analysed using descriptive statistics in form of frequencies of count, percentages, graphs, bar chart and pie chart.
Grazing of livestock and hunting were the form of encroachment most arrested in the park between 2001 and
2009. Poachers were most attracted in the park by Animals (92.06%), fuel wood (82.13%), Herbs (73.95%), and
Fish (73.95%). Between 1995 and 2009 KLNP recorded the highest arrest (372) of poachers in 1999. Increase in
the number of staff of KLNP had no significant effect in the number of poachers arrested within this period. Oli
and Ibbi were respectively ranked first (69.98%) and second (45.91%) by household respondents as major areas
of poaching. About 52.11% of households are optimistic that poaching can be stopped while 39.5% perceived
that it can only be minimized. However, 39.15% of household respondents suggested creation of employment
opportunities for households as a strategy that can stop poaching in KLNP.
Keywords: encroachment, Kainji Lake National Park, wildlife exploitation, Nigeria
1. Introduction
Wildlife is facing serious challenges world over, and many fauna and flora species are continuously driven closer
to extinction on daily basis. Less than nine percent of the earth has been set aside for protected areas and there is
constant pressure from rampant development and commercial activities to further reduce these areas
(Anonymous, Undated). Increased human and cattle population in most countries is continuously putting more
pressure on forest resources and has ultimately caused fragmentation and degradation of wildlife habitats. This,
along with increases in wildlife population in Protected Areas has resulted in wildlife spilling over to non
protected areas. The effects of all these pressures culminate in increased man and animal conflicts; leading to
revenge killings and poaching (National Tiger Conservation Authority, Undated). However, many modern
poachings are majorly embarked upon as business ventures especially as man has discovered the potentials of
harnessing wildlife resources for economic empowerment.
Poaching and illegal trade in wildlife has become an organized, lucrative and a capital intensive business, with
trafficking routes extending from remote national parks and reserves, where animals are trapped and killed, to
major urban centres where they are sold and consumed (Goodall, 2011). It is estimated that trade in wildlife
products is just next to narcotics, valued at nearly 20 billion dollars in the global market, of this more than one
third is illegal (National Tiger Conservation Authority, Undated).
Due to this high commercial value of wildlife products, tension in protected areas is continuously increasing at a
global scale. Poaching, therefore, has become more universal and a frequently occurring phenomenon. From the
depths of the oceans to the highest mountaintops, no environment is spared from poaching and all wildlife
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species can be drawn into the vast illegal trade (Granby Zoo, 2012).
Nearly every country faces modern poaching issues though different items, species or wildlife products are
poached. In North America poachers kill large numbers of wild animals as well as various species of fish, and
even the ginseng plant. In Africa, as well as other continents, animals being killed are solely for body parts. The
African Elephant (Loxodonta africana) and Rhinoceroses are more recent victims of poaching. Poachers, most
times, cut the elephant's face off, and leave the body of the species to rot in the forest. For instance, Guardian
(2012) reported that heavily armed poachers from Chad and Sudan decimated more than 200 individuals of
elephants in six weeks in Bouba Ndjida national park of Cameroon in a “massacre” fuelled by Asian demand for
Ivory.
In Krudger National park of South Africa, Rhinoceroses (Ceratotherium simum and Diceros bicornis) are the
major target for poaching. Their horns that are so valuable made Rhinos the target for groups of poachers in
Africa who sell the horns to the Far East users at high prices. These organized poachers often hire helicopters
and use high – tech equipment such as night – vision goggles and sedative drugs. Before mid 1980s, due to Ivory
poaching, the number of elephant and Rhino in the Serengeti National Park of Tanzania, and other protected
areas in Tanzania seriously declined. Ivory poaching decimated the elephant population in Serengeti National
Park until only a few hundred were left in the park, and the thriving rhino population dwindled to just two
individuals (Serengeti, 2000). But the 1989 worldwide Ivory Ban further eased the burden on the park's elephant
population. Nevertheless, meat poaching continued. In an average year, local people living around Serengeti
National Park illegally kill about 40,000 animals, including Wildebeest (Connochaetes gnu), Zebra (Equus
quagga), Giraffe (Girraffa camelopardarlis), Buffalo (Syncerus caffer), Impala (Aepyceros melmpus) and many
other species that are caught in poachers' snares or pit fall traps (Serengeti, 2000).
The wildlife products poached and traded illegally from India are Musk Deer (Moschus moschiferus) for
cosmetics; Bear (Selenarctos thibetanus) for skin and bear bile; Elephant (Loxodonta africana) Tusk for ivory;
Rhinoceros horns for aphrodisiac; Tiger (Panthera tigris) and Leopard (Panthera pardus ) skins for fashion
products, oriental medicines and food; Snakes and Monitor Lizard (Veranus niloticus) skins for leather industry;
Birds for pet trade and feather for decoration; Swiftlet (Aerodramus unicolor) nests for soups; Mongoose
(Herpestes edwardsii) for bristles; Turtles for meat and soup; and Tibetan Antelope (Pantholops hodgsonii) for
shawls (National Tiger Conservation Authority, Undated). In Great Smoky Mountain National Park, ginseng is
the attraction to poachers while for Petrified Forest National Park, fossilized trees are stolen. In Redwood
National and State Parks’ of California’s North Coast, poachers cut down and steal redwood trees (Finegan,
2008).
Theft of Saguaro cacti (Carnegiea gigantea) a slow-growing plant has been a major problem for decades in
Saguaro National Park. Years of population growth and development of new subdivisions in the West have
increased demand for native landscaping. Saguaro is difficult to propagate, and poachers typically target plants
that are about forty years old, and five to seven feet in height. Cacti of that size are easy to transport, and a single
saguaro can fetch hundreds of dollars when sold to nurseries or landscapers. An estimate of 250,000 desert plants
were illegally dug and sold in Arizona alone in 1979, and pressures on desert ecosystems have continued to
mount (Burnett, 2009).
Sariska Tiger Reserve in India has become devoid of Tigers due to poaching. In Shenandoah National Park, the
ginseng (Panax spp.) and the Black bears (Ursus americanus) that thrive along the edge of the Blue Ridge
Mountains are the biggest attraction to poachers. The price of wild ginseng on the open market ($400 a pound) is
ten times higher than the price of cultivated ginseng. And a Black bear’s dried gallbladder sells for $1,000 in
Asia, making it worth more per ounce than cocaine (Eilperin, 2005).
Living things are not the only targets by poachers. Potsherds (archeological artifacts) from national parks are
poached and sold. In some cases, poachers transport their poached goods by water to evade authorities. This
happens in California’s Redwood National Park where poached Red woods (ancient trees) are floated
downstream. Park visitors also have taken more obscure items with less commercial value, such as owl pellets,
the fur-coated bones that owls regurgitate after eating small prey (Eilperin, 2005).
The poaching of sea turtle eggs from their buried nests is one of the worst threats that these species face in many
beaches. Poaching reduced the population of leatherbacks in Malaysia from 2,000 nesting females to 20 in only a
generation. While poaching of eggs is illegal, poor enforcement and economic conditions allow this destructive
activity to occur. Poaching on any Central American beach (and perhaps the world) is close to 100% if not
protected. Studies have estimated various levels of poaching at different Costa Rica beaches, including 95% in
the Guanacaste region, 98% in Esterillos, Costa Rica, and a 100% poaching rate in Punta Banco in 1995. In other
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countries, such as Honduras, where there is some record, it indicates poaching at similar levels (Sea Turtle
Restoration Project, Undated). In the case of Barangay Handumon in island of Jandayan, Getafe the item
targeted is entirely different there poaching of fish with dynamite is always experienced.
With these recently increased poaching pressure experienced in many protected areas across the globe, it
becomes imperative to have an in depth study of the forms and trend of encroachment in the premier national
park of Nigeria, Kainji Lake National park due to its location - close to the Niger Republic. The study therefore
investigates the forms of encroachment experienced in KLNP and analyses the trend of encroachment in the park.
2. Methodology
2.1 Study Area
The study area Kainji Lake National Park (KLNP) is geographically located at Latitude 9º 50' 19" N, Longitude
4º 34' 24" E. The park was established in 1979 by the amalgamation of Borgu game reserve (in Niger and Kwara
States) and Zurguma game reserve (in Niger State), which were two former game reserves. Before the merger,
these the two sectors had been gazetted in 1962 and 1971 respectively as game reserves by the then Northern
Regional Government.
The study area (KLNP) which is a savanna climate has a total area of 5,340.82 sq km and is located in the North
West central part of Nigeria between Niger and Kwara States. The area has two distinctive sectors known as the
Borgu and Zurguma sectors (Marguba, 2002) as shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1. Map of Kainji Lake National Park
2.1.1 Method of Data Collection
Two sets of structured questionnaire, and secondary data obtained from administrative records (information unit)
of the Kainji Lake National Park served as instruments for data collection. A set of structured questionnaire was
administered randomly to households in selected communities bordering the park. The second set of
questionnaire was administered to thirty percent of staff in park protection section of KLNP. In all, 403
households and 53 staff members were sampled.
2.1.2 Statistical Design
Based on closeness to the park, ten communities (five from each sector) were selected from communities
bordering the park. Listing of households was conducted in selected communities using people who are quite
conversant with these communities. Thirty percent of households in the selected communities were sampled as
presented in Table 1a.
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Table1a. Proportional allocation of questionnaire to households in selected communities
Communities Estimated Population Thirty percent of population (%)
Ibbi 477 159
Feligi 30 10
Mulea 30 10
Shafini 30 10
Kizhi 20 7
Wawa 477 159
Gada-oli 60 20
Kuble 15 5
Luma 50 16
Worumakoto 20 7
Total 1209 403
2.2 Method of Data Analysis
Descriptive statistics in form of frequencies, percentages, pie chart, and bar chart were used for data analysis.
3. Results
3.1Forms of Poaching in KLNP
Results on forms of poaching are presented in Figure 1 while table 1b shows resources that attract poachers to
KLNP.
Figure 1. Percentages of different poaching activities between 2001 and 2009
Source: Field Survey, 2011.
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Table 1b. Resources that attract poachers to encroach into the park
Resources collected from the park Frequency Percentage %
Animal 371 92.06
Honey 133 33.00
Fuel wood 331 82.13
Herbs 298 73.95
Fish 298 73.95
wood for timber 85 21.09
Water 52 12.90
Seeds 101 25.06
Seedlings 24 5.96
Palm wine 123 30.52
Spices 250 62.03
Birds 238 59.06
Soil 69 17.12
Source: Field Survey, 2011.
3.2Trend of Arrests in KLNP
Results on trend of poaching were assessed using trend of arrest as an indicator (Figures 2 and 3).
Figure 2. Trend of poaching arrests between 1995 and 2009
Source: Field survey, 2011.
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Figure 3. Relationship between number of arrested poachers and staff strength
Source: Field Survey, 2011.
Household Awareness of Location of Park resources
Respondents’ awareness of locations of park resources is through experience from elders (31.02%) and personal
findings (22.08%) (Table 2).
Table 2. Households source of information concerning locations of park resources and reasons for collecting
them
Parameters Variables Frequency Percentage
Sources of information Personal findings 89 22.08
Experience from elders 125 31.02
No response 189 46.90
Reasons for collecting these resources Generate income 310 76.92
Usage 181 44.91
Source: Field Survey, 2011.
Respondents Awareness of Areas Poaching Takes Place
Most respondents (69.98%) mentioned Oli as the range where encroachment is most experienced (Table 3).
Table 3. Areas of poaching in KLNP as identified by household respondents
Locations Frequenc
y
Percenta
g
eRan
k
Oli 282 69.98 1
Ibbi 185 45.91 2
Kigera 105 26.05 3
Kaiama 77 19.11 4
Kulho 73 18.11 5
Doro 52 12.90 6
Kuble 52 12.90 6
Wurumakoto 56 13.90 7
Kemenji 24 5.96 8
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3.3 Strategies to Stop Encroachment
Table 4 shows that many of the household respondents (52.11%) believed that poaching can be stopped
especially through employment (35.5%), provision of money for households adjoining the park (35.5%) and
creation of Awareness (23.43%).
Table 4. Household respondents’ suggestions on strategies to stop poaching
Parameter Variables Frequency Percentage
If poaching can be stopped? Yes 210 52.11
No 161 39.95
No response 32 7.94
Strategies Employment 129 35.15
More buffer zones 36 9.81
Awareness 86 23.43
Workshop/seminar 16 4.36
Provision of Mgt. demands 28 7.63
Basic amenities 44 11.99
Skill acquisition 20 5.45
Park patrol 4 1.09
Provision of money to households 4 35.15
Source: Field Survey, 2011.
4. Discussion
4.1 Forms of Encroachment in KLNP
Forms of poaching such as grazing, hunting, farming and fishing are high when compared with illegal entry
which could be for roaming, relaxation, site seeing and other reasons not connected with income generation
(Figure 1). This can be attributed to the fact that wildlife resources are vital means of survival for households
adjoining the park. Analysis of forms of poaching for a period of nine years (Figure 1) using arrest as an
indicator revealed that grazing has the highest occurrence followed by hunting while fuel wood/charcoal
gathering and conspiracy had the lowest. In reality, poaching of game animals occurs most in the park. Though
encroachment in the form of grazing is equally very high and the impact is quite much but the result from the
arrest record (Figure 2) cannot be unconnected with the fact that apprehension of persons involved in poaching
activity such as grazing is the simplest (rangers, personal communication). This is due to the fact that the act of
grazing leaves anti poaching patrol team a “lead or trace” that enables them to apprehend poachers. Examples of
these ‘leads’ always observed are foot prints of their herds as well as deformation of pastures.
It is easier to observe these leads or indicators than the ones indicating encroachment by hunting. A hunter may
successfully hide in the bush on detecting the presence of anti poaching patrol whereas if herdsmen hide, their
herds would be seen and seized. Interactions with park officials have revealed that sometimes the herdsmen use
charms to hide without being easily seen by antipoaching patrol teams. However, their herds are arrested. After
waiting for a while, they report to claim their herds and will be arrested. This increases the record of poachers
arrested for grazing. In the case of hunting, the poachers can use charms “African technology” to confuse the
rangers and escape without leaving anything behind to trace them or bring them back. Hunting is more prevalent
but encroachments in form of grazing are most arrested. Over the nine years of study, record of poaching arrest
revealed that almost half (49%) of the culprits encroached into the park for grazing of cattle (Figure 1). Hunting
is high because communities living around the protected area poach to supplement their starch based diet with
protein. This is similar to Kepe, Cousins and Turner (2000) in Mkambati Nature Reserve in South Africa.
Encroachment for grazing and that of charcoal or fuel wood gathering differs greatly (Figure 1) because
alternative cooking fuel such as kerosene can be provided and used in place of charcoal/fuelwood unlike grazing
that can hardly be substituted. Cattle rearers, can hardly find other suitable, readily available and culturally
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acceptable free resource to serve as a substitute for vegetation. Moving herds from one location to another
requires food and water and as such cannot be easily controlled. In a situation where herds are to be moved from
one point to another it becomes difficult to stop them from grazing since they require food and water to live. This
also creates an avenue for Fulani cattle rearers to hunt or kill animals that pose threats to their herds. This also
agrees with the findings by the Nigerian Environmental Study/Action Team (NEST) (1991). However, on basis
of preference, households prefer cooking with wood or charcoal because of their large size. This can be related to
the reason why majority (82.5%) of the respondents indicated that poachers collect fuelwood from the park
(Table 1).
4.2 Trend of Poaching in KLNPS
Analysis of records of arrests between 1995 and 2009 shows no specific or uniform pattern of flow in arrests of
poachers. The trend of poaching for the 12 years is inconsistent with increases and decreases until 2007 when it
decreased consistently till 2009 (Figure 2). Similar trends of poaching of Tiger and Leopard were recorded by
the Tiger Project Conservation Authority (Undated) between 1998 and 2003. The KLNP recorded the highest
arrests in 1999 with 372 arrests.
In 1995 only 70 poachers were arrested. The number of culprits arrested increased to 145 in 1996 but decreased
to 129 in 1997 and increased tremendously to 207 in 1998. This tremendous increase in the number of arrests
can be attributed to a more effective management in the park. The park was divided into eight ranges for
effective patrol and was adequately equipped with various anti poaching devices including seven new double
barrel shot guns and 1000 rounds of cartridge. Besides, the two sectors of the park were graded, renovated and
furnished to accommodate rangers. Also, A. P. Leventis donated a parachute to further improve anti poaching
activities. The effects of the antipoaching device reflected in 1999 when 372 poachers were arrested. Besides, the
rangers may have decided to be more serious with their work in other to impress the donor of the anti poaching
facilities. The number of arrests however decreased to 165 in 2000. The decrease could be attributed to the fact
that the poachers felt that the antipoaching patrols had become more armed, therefore withdrew, to look for new
strategies that could enable them overcome the patrol team of the park. With time, poachers resort to the use of
arms and charms to confuse rangers inside the park. Poachers can go to the extent of using charms to attract
animals. Some charms confiscated from arrested poachers are kept in the museum of Kainji Lake National Park
as evidence (Personal Observation). This is similar to the report of Ijeomah and Aiyeloja (2010) in Ijebu Ode of
Ogun State, Nigeria where hunters use charms to attract or remote control animals to their traps. The rangers also
resorted to use charms “African technology” to detect the direction of poachers’ movement in the park.
The increase in arrests to 229 in 2001 cannot be unconnected with the fact that new strategies by the poachers to
escape arrest were still detected and overpowered by the patrol teams. Consequent upon the effective
antipoaching patrol by the rangers, arrest decreased progressively to 140, 114, 88 and 87 in 2002, 2003, 2004
and 2005 respectively. The consistent reduction in arrest can also be related to the fact that the poachers were
escaping arrest either because the rangers were no longer as effective as before or that the rangers’ antipoaching
devices had become ineffective due to poor maintenance. Though, it could also imply that poaching has become
reduced in the park.
However, reduction in the number of poachers arrested cannot be used as the only indicator to rate poaching in
the park because if not for the improvement on antipoaching facilities in 1998 that led to the arrest of 207 (78
poachers more than the record of 1997) the management would not have known that such large number of
poachers have been encroaching into the park without being caught. Reduction in poaching arrest could also be
caused by inefficiency of the anti-poaching patrol team due to lack of motivation by the management of KLNP.
This increase in 1998 was due to motivation of the patrol team by the management coupled with efforts to
overcome all poaching strategies by the poachers. The number of arrest also decreased to 126 in 2008. The fact
that the year 1999 recorded the highest number of arrest indicates that if the anti-poaching patrol teams were
well equipped and motivated, poaching can be reduced to a bearable minimum in protected areas in Nigeria.
Figure 3 showing comparison between staff strength and number of poachers arrest revealed that in 2001 staff
strength was 255 while that of 2002 was 344 - an increment of about 89 staff, yet the number of arrested
poachers in 2001 was 229 while 2002 that had more staff arrested only 140. A similar trend also occurred in
2006 and 2007. This implies that some of the staff were not efficient or that some of the employed staff were not
fit for the job. It can also be attributed to the fact that poaching decreased during those periods.
4.3 Sources of Information on Where to Locate the Animals and Reasons for Poaching
Based on personal findings and experience (Table 2) respondents are aware of locations of resources in the park
as entering of the parkland to harness forest resources was not a crime before the park was gazzetted. Thus,
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households are aware of where to locate the animals and other resources, as the parkland had been their hunting
ground and a source of vital resources for their survival. They have good understanding of the access and feeder
roads inside the park (Table 2).
Respondents’ knowledge of where to locate park resources can also be related to the fact that they had at one
time or the other embarked on poaching of park resources for income generation or usage (Table 2) or have
relations who had been entering the park to poach.
4.4 Respondents’ Ranking of Poaching Activities in Ranges of KLNP
Results in Table 3 shows that most respondents ranked Oli first in the order of poaching in the park. Out of the
eight ranges, Oli has more animals because the Niger River has some channels through which it flows into the
forest therein. Hence, the animals can easily access water to drink unlike in Ibbi and Kali ranges or Kaiama post
(boundary between Kwara State and Niger State). Oli camp is the most popular place in the park. It is very
popular as the major camp where tourists go to view animals. This agrees with Ogunjinmi and Ijeomah (2010).
In Oli while inside the chalet one can site animals roaming about. Besides, animals feel more secured in Oli and
can therefore go close to people in many cases unharmed. Though the presence of these animals can attract
poachers but it is relatively more difficult to poach in Oli camp. Poachers are more afraid to poach in Oli as they
know that the patrol there is intense. Nevertheless poaching still take place as the presence of many games is a
great temptation to poachers, especially those who are ready to take risks. In 1999 and 2000, 75 and 11 poachers
were respectively arrested in Oli camp. The 75 arrests in the year 1999 were the highest among all the ranges.
In Ibbi the animals hide probably because of poachers. Siting of animals is relatively more difficult from Ibbi
unlike Oli. Ibbi is closer to the town than Oli camp. It is surrounded by villages to the town and it is therefore
easier to poach in Ibbi than in Oli. This could be attributed to the reason it was ranked second in the order of
poaching activities (Table 3). In 1999, 2000, 2007 and 2008, the numbers of poachers arrested in Ibbi were 50,
29, 11 and 11 respectively.
Kuble has a broken culvert that hinders accessibility to the area, thus hinders patrol by rangers. Because of the
relatively far distance, rangers can hardly cover the distances on foot. The patrol Hilux stops at the broken
culvert and rangers trek on foot to the forest, where they remain till the agreed day for the Hilux to return and
carry them. They could even stay for two or more days inside the forest. Even if they arrest poachers, the culprit
will stay with them in the forest till the scheduled day and time for the patrol Hilux to return to carry them at a
pre scheduled location.
Another route to access Kuble, apart from being narrow is marshy and can hardly support movement of vehicles.
For the far distance of Kuble even if animals are caught, taking them home becomes a very big challenge for
poachers. However, 23, 29, 25 and 16 arrests of poachers were made therein in 1999, 2000, 2007 and 2008.
Kali range is also far from Oli or Roan Gate but there is accommodation for the rangers there. The major
resources poached in Kali range are fishes. As dry season approaches, while the water level in River Oli reduces
gradually and consistently based on distances (kilometer) away from River Oli and close to Kali range, most
aquatic lives in the water body correspondingly migrates from Kilometre 3 through 5, 8 and 15 before getting to
Kali range. No matter the degree of dryness, Kali is least affected and therefore has much fish in the part of Oli
river that flows to the range.
Wurumakoto and other ranges are far from Oli camp. Less poaching activities take place therein as the animals
tend to move closer to where they are more secure. The park management has fewer members of staff there.
Even park workers dislike being posted to those places due to their far distances from Oli. It is possible that
poaching may be taking place there at a lower level without the poachers being caught.
Wurumakoto is not easily accessible as it is far coupled with the fact that the roads leading to the range is bad.
For one to access Wurumakoto, the poacher needs to pass through about three other ranges. And it is difficult and
more risky for poachers to operate that way successfully without being seen. Record of arrest from Kainji Park
Management revealed that no poacher was arrested in Wurumakoto in 1999, 2000, and 2008. However, 5 arrests
were made in 2007, and that was the least in all the ranges in that year.
Different items are poached from the other ranges. In Oli, animals are mostly poached followed by fish. The
major form of encroachment in Ibbi is grazing. This can be attributed to the fact that the range is close to the
villagers who are mostly cattle rearers. Some of the grazers together with other villagers encroach to get herbs
which they put inside bottles and sell to generate income. In Kuble, the major form of encroachment is hunting.
Similarly, different items are poached from different sections of Pandam game reserve in Plateau State, Nigeria.
The major reasons for encroaching into different sections of Pandam game reserve are hunting, fishing,
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collection of fuel wood and tapping of palm wine (Ijeomah, 2007).
4.5 Respondent’s Suggestions on How to Check Poaching
Some respondents stated that poaching cannot be stopped (Table 4). This can be attributed to the high level of
poaching they noticed around the park irrespective of series of anti poaching campaigns in the communities
bordering the park. It can also be ascribed to the prevailing perception or mindsets of community members
concerning poaching. Some members of the studied communities have emphasized that they would never stop
poaching since it was inherited from their parents. As their parents did not stop it, they must continue with it. An
arrested poacher, who had earlier been caught twice, while in police custody still emphasized that he would
continue poaching (Per. Com.). Even if arrested poachers are being penalized, they hardly show any sign of
remorse, when arrested, and their relations always believe that they would still be released.
Many respondents however believe that poaching could be stopped if the demands of host communities are
provided by the management of the park. The fact that provision of employment tops the list of suggested
strategies to check poaching reveals the high level of dependency on the park. It is also a reflection of the
continuously increasing rate of unemployment in Nigeria.
5. Conclusion
Kainji Lake National Park is not fully protected against poaching activities. Forms of anti poaching support
given to the management of KLNP by host communities are pretentious and done out of fear of not attracting the
wrath of the federal government of Nigeria, which could lead to the removal of community leaders. If the
security situation of the park is not improved, most of the resources of the premier National Park of Nigeria will
vanish from existence. The rangers should be encouraged to be more committed with anti poaching activities
through provision of attractive risk allowances and monitoring.
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man and Wildlife? Serengeti National Park. Retrieved from http://www.serengeti.org/main_serengeti.html
... Two (2) communities from each of the five (5) ranges were selected totally ten (10) support zone communities. The lists of households were conducted in selected communities using people who are quite conversant with these communities as consistent with Ijeomah et al., (2013). Households that were used are further selected by random sampling and respondents were the head. ...
... This however makes work ineffective and gives room for negligence. This agrees with the results of Ijeomah et al., (2013), and Alarape et al., (2015) that lack of incentives and staff management make work ineffective. ...
... At Mole National Park the selected communities include, Larabanga, Kpulumbo, Yazouri, Mognori, Murugu, Kaden, Kananto, Grupe, Bawena and Kabampe. Inventory of households was conducted in the selected communities using people who were quite familiar with the communities as carried out by Ijeomah et al., (2013), as well as community register where available. Numbers of respondents to be sampled in each household in the communities were selected as described by Akwotugu (2004). ...
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This study aimed at identifying the level of awareness and type of involvement of adjacent communities in the ecotourism activities of two West African National Parks which are, Kainji Lake (Nigeria) and Mole (Ghana) National Parks. The study identifies how the adjacent communities are involved in ecotourism activities to improve their livelihood. Questionnaires, key informant interviews and focus group discussions were employed for data collection. The result shows that at Kainji Lake National Park, 96.7% respondents were aware of the ecotourism activities while at the communities of Mole National Park all respondents (100%) were aware of the ecotourism activities. The level of involvement in ecotourism activities was low at the communities of both Parks at Kainji Lake National Park communities, only 8.9% were involved while, 11.2% were involved at Mole National Park communities. Of the 8.9% involved at Kainji Lake involvement was mainly in the areas of conservation groups (53.8%), petty trading and transportation services (30.8%). However, at Mole out of the 11.2% involved in ecotourism activities, tour guiding (43.3%), cultural displays and entertainment (33.3%) and petty trading (23.3%) were discovered to be prominent areas of involvement. The result of the Mann-Whitney test on the level of involvement at the communities of the two National Parks shows that there is no significant difference in the level of involvement. This study has revealed that communities’ involvement in ecotourism activities of Kainji Lake and Mole National Parks was very low and cannot effectively improve the livelihood of the community residents.
... Many human activities are seen to be threats to the existence of the flora and fauna resources in Nigeria (Olatunbosun, 2013) and the world at large. These constitute continuous pressure being exerted on forest resources causing fragmentation and degradation of wild animal habitats (Ijeomah, Augustine & Damilola, 2012). There is therefore an urgent need for biodiversity conservation. ...
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One of the key resources in effective management of National Parks is the knowledge base of the park managers. There is however little or no documented information about park official's knowledge of the laws they uphold in Nigeria. This study assessed the knowledge base of Nigeria wildlife laws among park officials in Okomu National Park (ONP) and Old Oyo National Park (OONP), Nigeria. Simple random sampling was used to administer structured questionnaire to 50 ONP and 130 OONP staff. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics. Majority (95.6%) had heard about wildlife laws and 68.9% understood the contents of the law. Majority (72.2%) knew the decree responsible for the establishment of national parks but could not distinctively identify the activities that constitute offences under this law. For effective park management, proper orientation, education, training and retraining on the wildlife laws should be organized for the park officials at regular intervals.
... This had drastically affected food security at the national and regional levels, apart from the negative impact on biodiversity [52]. In Nigeria, [53] reported bush meat hunting to be a predominant activity by the host communities illegally depend on the forest resources of Kainji Lake National Park. ...
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This paper summarises the current state of knowledge on the landscape of protected areas in Nigeria and elucidates on the status, drivers, effects and solutions to host communities’ dependence on the protected areas towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 15.9 and Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 in Nigeria. The present land coverage (15.15%) of Nigeria’s protected areas is highly degraded and far away from the target 4 of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (2016 – 2020). This is connected to the fact that protected areas constitute the largest food base for host communities’ survival in Nigeria. Even, despite the rural-urban drift in search of a white-collar job, a larger percentage of Nigeria’s populations are still situated in rural areas. The participation of the local communities in biodiversity conservation, their wellbeing, culture and livelihood have always been a subject of interest to the stakeholders (local communities, park management, and conservationist) in protected area management due to the role in the sustainability of forest resources. However, three drivers of host communities’ dependence on protected areas in Nigeria were identified – socio-cultural, economic and institutional drivers. The option of human displacement from the protected areas had not yielded any positive result over the years. In conclusion, buffer zone policies have to be formulated and inculcated by affected protected areas authorities into their management framework. Also, adoption of community-based participatory forest management, initiation of forest enrichment programmes in degraded protected areas and harvesting of Non-timber Forest Products (NTFPs) should be encouraged to play diverse contributory roles in the improvement of rural livelihoods.
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Care for the environment is everyone's responsibility for the protection, preservation and sustenance of environmental resources for well-being of biodiversity. Currently, many nations face enormous environmental challenges. This paper offers a critical insight into environmental challenges in Nigeria and proposes corresponding solutions for just and supportive attitudes towards the environment. Various factors are said to be responsible for that environmental problems in Nigeria. This ranges from not being patriotic, poor environmental awareness, non-implementation of national environmental policies, and the persistent lack of commitment to focused environmental management and development strategies. The most popular among the prescriptions for tackling the phenomenon of environmental challenges emphasized national policies, cultivation of environmental ethics, transparency and accountability in agencies directly involved in environmental management. Presently, these solutions have not been able to adequately address Nigeria's environmental challenges. However, the crucial role of the regulatory bodies, especially their oversight functions and personal aggrandizement have arguably been the ado for environmental care and the missing link in enforcing national policies and environmental development in Nigeria. The paper therefore recommends that Nigerian government should developed practical and effective laws and policies at all levels to address biodiversity issues which include careful and systematic planning based on comprehensive framework of laws that define processes, obligations and responsibilities. Again, Non-Governmental Agencies as well as individuals should committedly join the force to ensure safe environment for all.
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The livelihood challenges of communities adjacent to Kainji Lake and Mole National Parks in Nigeria and Ghana respectively were studied. This was intended to underscore the concept of Sustainable Livelihood in poverty alleviation. Survey design was employed using semi-structured questionnaire, Focus Group Discussion and Key Informant Interview to gather data from 582 residents of 20 communities adjacent to both Parks. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used for data analysis. Results obtained show that the major livelihood activities at adjacent communities of both Parks were crop and livestock farming. Some livelihood challenges encountered at the communities include destruction of crops by wild animals, reduced access to farmlands, and exclusion from use of natural resources. Chi-squared analysis also reveals a significant difference between the challenges encountered at the adjacent communities to both Parks. To reduce the adverse effects of the Parks on the communities, compensation for damages, further collaboration with NGOs to provide infrastructure, and training on alternative sources of livelihood are recommended.
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This study assessed hunting practices in Ikot Ubo Village, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. Data was obtained through detailed structured questionnaires administered to 45 in the study area. Descriptive statistics and econometric models were employed to analyze the data collected. The results obtained indicated that the majority of the respondents were male (78.40%), married (78.38%), aged between 21-40 years (91.90%) literate (86.49%), and had a household size of more than 6 persons (43.24%). Also, the majority of the traders earned between ₦11,000-₦15,000 income monthly (51.40%), had a residency period of 6-10 years (24.32%) and less than 5 years hunting experience (48.65%). Hunting was both at day and night periods (54.05%) and most (89.18%) of them trekked more than 25km during a hunting expedition and were neither registered with relevant authorities (89.18%) nor licensed to carry ammunition (91.89%). Food was the major reason for hunting and bars/joint was the marketing point for their catch. Prices of bushmeat catch range between ₦1,000-₦16,000 and antelope were the most expensive species traded in the study area. Rain (45.95%) was the major challenge facing hunters while gender, age, household position, and tool used by a hunter were the significant factors (p<0.05) that affected a hunter's catch. The study recommends more investment and development in the rural areas as these would help in reducing wildlife exploitation and trade in the wildlife resources thereby conserving it for posterity.
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This study assessed tourism attractions and the local conservation of monitor lizard (Varanus niloticus) in Ndoni community, Rivers state using data collected through administration of questionnaire, in-depth interview, and field observations. Data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistics presented in form of tables and charts. The tourists' attractions in the study area were market (34.69%), peaceful nature of Ndoni (20.24%), easy accessibility by water (13.44%), safe water ways (12.59%), location of Ndoni (11.22%), beach (6.97%) and local conservation of monitor lizard (0.85%). All the household respondents in the study area were aware of the local conservation of monitor lizard. The major factor militating against the local conservation practice is high population of non-indigenes (33.20%), followed by Christianity (27.27%), while the major challenge facing tourism development in Ndoni community is seasonal flooding (43.02%). The attractions, recreational activities and effective local conservation of monitor lizard make Ndoni a popular eco-destination among tourists.
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Abstract: This study assessed the effectiveness of anti-poaching activities as it tends to curtail the rate of different forms of threats facing biodiversity conservation in Old Oyo National Park between 2001 and 2015. Data was obtained from administrative records of the park for the period and analyzed using descriptive statistics and least square regression. The results showed irregular trends in park expenditure, park staff and arrest of poachers with an annual mean of ₦119,876,868.70 ($328,429.78), 229.8± 36.46 and 95.2±33.76 respectively. The results also showed variation in the rate of poacher’s arrest across the various ranges in the park with Oyo-Ile range having the highest number (454) of arrest, grazing in the park had the highest number of offenders being arrested (682) and majority of the poachers’ offences were compounded (970) during prosecution. The study recommends adequate funding to ensure that protection officers are well equipped and motivated to ensure a higher productivity and also modalities be put in place to ensure apart from arrest and prosecution of offenders, a partnership with the support zone communities is achieved to ensure effective biodiversity conservation in the park.
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Utilization of tourism as an effective tool for poverty alleviation can hardly be achieved without proper evaluation of tourism performance in existing eco-destinations. An overview of ecotourism activities in Kainji Lake National Park (KLNP) was carried out through reconnaissance survey and review of secondary data obtained from KLNP record book. Data were presented and analysed with descriptive statistics (tables and frequencies) and inferential statistics such as Chi-Square. Results showed that KLNP has core and supporting tourist attractions packaged in forms of natural, artificial, cultural, historical and archeological produces as in game viewing, bird watching, lake cruising, swimming and sporting at attractive sites like old Bussa, Lion cave Kali Hills and Shrines, Museum, Hippopotamus pools, crocodile creek, Oli camp and riparian forests. Monthly tourist visitation was generally poor but relatively high in months of festivities such as December (8,273), November (5,351), April (3,658), January (3,490) and February (3,088). Analysis of visitation on annual basis showed that 2005 topped the least with a total of 5,593 visitors followed by 2006 (4,712) and 2004 (4,704). The total number of visitors between 1991 and 2006 was 41,647 while total amount of money generated within this period was N32,386,036.00. Further analysis indicated that there was significant association between visitation (÷2=210.00, df=196, p<0.05) and income generation by the park. Ecotourism resources of Kainji Lake National Park are under-utilized. The Park in this present form can hardly sustain itself financially.
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Through a case study of Mkambati area, this article analyzes the prospects for community wildlife management (CWM) for communities that neighbor Mkambati Nature Reserve. Two clusters of issues are proposed as being crucial in any community-based resource management situation. The first cluster is centered on the idea of "resource tenures," and the need to locate wildlife in a fuller resource/livelihood/tenure institutional context. The second cluster is centered on power dynamics, the multilayered struggles between diverse sets of actors, and the process through which resource tenures are continuously renegotiated. It is argued that wildlife management must always be seen in these larger contexts, and that the prospects for successful community-based schemes will depend crucially on how wildlife tenure articulates with other resource tenures, on how it impacts on rural livelihoods considered holistically, and on the relationships that exist between local and nonlocal institutions.
Cactus poachers at Saguaro National Park receive stiff sentences, National Park Travellers
  • J Burnett
Burnett, J. (2009). Cactus poachers at Saguaro National Park receive stiff sentences, National Park Travellers. Retrieved from http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/2009/11/cactus-poachers-saguaro-national-park-receive-stiff-sentence s4986
Poachers Looting National Parks of Treasures, The Washington Post
  • J Eilperin
Eilperin, J. (2005). Poachers Looting National Parks of Treasures, The Washington Post. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/23/AR2005102300796.html
Poaching Trees from Red wood National Park, National Park Travellers
  • C Finegan
Finegan, C. (2008). Poaching Trees from Red wood National Park, National Park Travellers. Retrieved from http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/2008/03/poaching
Poachers slaughter 200 elephants in Cameroon national park in six weeks Retrieved from http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment
  • Guardian
Guardian. (2012). Poachers slaughter 200 elephants in Cameroon national park in six weeks. Retrieved from http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/feb/17/poachers-slaughter-200-elephants-cameroon.
National parks and their benefits to local communities in Nigeria
  • L B Marguba
Marguba, L. B. (2002). National parks and their benefits to local communities in Nigeria. Nigerian National Park Service, Abuja, p. 34
Threatened Environment: A National Profile
NEST. (1991). Threatened Environment: A National Profile. Nigerian Environmental Study/Action Team, Ibadan, p. 288.
Global Approaches to Extension Practice
  • Nigeria
Nigeria. Global Approaches to Extension Practice, 6(1), 86-94.
Park Management, Conservation and Research – Answers to conflict between man and Wildlife? Serengeti National Park. Retrieved from http
  • Park Serengeti National
Serengeti National Park (2000). Park Management, Conservation and Research – Answers to conflict between man and Wildlife? Serengeti National Park. Retrieved from http://www.serengeti.org/main_serengeti.html