Impact of Habitat Destruction on Livelihoods and Vulnerability of Forest Dependent Communities in Rivers State, Nigeria

Author(s)

Sodienye Augustine Abere , J.A.Opara ,

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Volume 7 - January 2018 (01)

Abstract

Wildlife diversity has been reported to be dependent on quality of the environment. However, information on wildlife species within Bonny Island forest has not been adequately documented. In fragile ecosystems such as Bonny Island, the lakes, vegetation, wildlife, and freshwater condition are very valuable especially to the indigenous people. Thus, the socio-economic factors in respect to the consequent effect of wildlife destruction were determined.Structured questionnaire was used to collect information from respondents using systematic sampling techniques in Bonny Satellite Settlement (BSS) and Bonny Island Settlement (BIS). Data were analyzed using simple percentage. Anthropogenic activities: hunting, fishing and other agricultural practices exerted higher pressure of 20.0%, 60.0% and 10.0% respectively on the wildlife resources during dry than wet seasons (17.5%, 43.8% and 38.70% respectively). These however place the communities at a very vulnerable condition because it affected their access to land, protein source and other non timber forest product. Anthropogenic activities were threats to wildlife diversity and the local communities. If biodiversity is lost, the poor rural people will be heavily affected hence measures on conservation and should be put in place and also community participation should be encouraged. Public enlightenment on conservation of natural resources in Bonny Island should be encouraged.

Keywords

Vulnerability, Livelihoods, Habitat Destruction, Forest Dependent Communities

References

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