Wildlife population, structure and reproduction based on hunters' returns to a bush meat market in Abeokuta, Ogun state, Nigeria
Advances in Forestry Science
Assessment of the population structure and reproductive status based on hunters' returns to bush meat market were carried out in Ogun state, Nigeria. Information on animal species was collected before they are dissected or processed; names of species, age class, sex, weight and sources. After dissection, its reproductive status viz number of foetus and stages of development were observed. The data collected covered a period of three months. The result from the study showed that nine hundred and
... at nine hundred and eighty-nine animals were returned by hunters to the market within the period. The highest hunters' returns occurred at week four while the highest returns were also during the first four weeks. Canerat (Thryonomys swinderianus) and Maxwell duiker (Cephalophus maxwelli) were animals with the highest frequency returned. The result shows that 342 fetuses were recorded from all the species. The highest of fetuses was from Cane rat and Maxwell duiker. Seven orders of mammals were discovered in the population and rodentia had the highest percentage followed by artiodactyla. In terms of sex structure of the wild animal returned, female had the highest population (558) than male which has 431 animals. Also, for the age class structure, the adult had the highest frequency and percent than the sub-adult and juvenile. The patterns of returns by hunters from various sources showed that the highest animal return was from Tibo (157) and the least from Oba (8). The highest mean weight of animals returned was 19.0±0.00kg and the least mean weight of animal was 0.46±0.22kg. It is therefore, recommended that wildlife resources should be treated as an asset to be conserved, managed and given emphasis in land management for the benefit of all humanity. Vigorous efforts towards checking indiscriminate hunting of animals of all sexes and reproductive conditions must be pursued.