Author(s): G. A. Lameed1, J. K. Omifolaji2, A. S. Abere3, S. O. Ilori1
Hunting intensity in Oban Sector of Cross River National Park, Nigeria was investigated. The methodology involved the recording of signs of hunting activity using line transects, and interviews with hunters. A total of 33 gunshots, 21 spent cartridges, 26 wire snares, presence of 7 hunters and two hunters’ camps and other several hunting signs were recorded for a total of 68 km of transects walked. Nine species of mammals were hunted, notably the Chimpanzee Pan troglodytes, Mona monkey (Cercopithecus mona), Puttynose monkey (Cercopithecus nictitans), Red river hog (Potamochoerus porcus), Drill (Mandrillus leucophaeus), Brush-tailed Porcupine (Atherurus africanus), Blue duiker (Cephalophus monticla), Bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus), Ogilby’s duiker (Cephalophus dorsalis), Western tree hyrax (Dendrohyrax dorsalis), and Grasscutter (Thryonomys swinderianus). The interviews revealed the most hunted species as the iii Primates (Cercopithecus spp 28.48%), African brush-tailed Porcupine (Atherurus africanus) (37.74%), Blue Duiker (Philantomba monticola) (26.82%), Bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus) (6.96%), Pangolin (Manis tetradactyla), Red river hog (Potamochoerus porcus) and Grasscutter (Thyronomys swinderianus) with the first four being the most commonly hunted. Shotguns and Wire snares were the two main hunting methods used, with the former being used (88.24%) of all the hunters interviewed, and the latter (11.76%) of the hunters. Each hunter set 50 – 300 wire snares, of which there were two types: 1) ground snare without fencing (neck wire snare), and 2) ground snare with fencing (foot/leg wire snares. Most of the wire snares hunting take place mainly during the raining season. The study revealed high hunting intensity in Oban Sector of CRNP. Some of the recommended measures to ameliorate the menace include the initiation of public education and awareness programmes, establishment of task forces to check bushmeat hunting, execution of stricter law enforcement, good welfare package for park rangers and more punitive sanctions for offenders.
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