Unsustainable Exploitation of Freshwater Wetland Turtles and Tortoises in Central Niger Delta
International Journal of Environmental Monitoring and Analysis
Volume 2, Issue 2, April 2014, Pages: 57-64
Received: Feb. 7, 2014; Published: Mar. 10, 2014
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Elijah Ige Ohimain, Biodiversity Conservation and Research Group, Biological Science Department, Faculty of Science, Niger Delta University, Amassoma, Nigeria
Dimie Otobotekere, Biodiversity Conservation and Research Group, Biological Science Department, Faculty of Science, Niger Delta University, Amassoma, Nigeria
Biriduba Woyengitonyokopa, Biodiversity Conservation and Research Group, Biological Science Department, Faculty of Science, Niger Delta University, Amassoma, Nigeria
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Wildlife is commonly exploited as sources of animal protein in Nigeria. This study was designed to assess the rate of wildlife exploitation in 2 communities in Delta State, Nigeria specialized in the sale of turtles and tortoises. These two communities receive 1,512 turtles and tortoises weekly from hunters and display them for sales along the East-West Road. Fortnightly field surveys in these communities show that 12 shops displayed 144 – 212 numbers of turtles and tortoises while the rest are kept in bulk storage. Each shop sells 16 – 20 (average 18) on favorable business days and 3 – 9 (average 6) on unfavorable days. The retailer makes an average profit of N1000, N 3,500 and N 4000 per unit of small, medium and large species respectively (US $1 = N 156). The numbers of retailers are increasing. The turtles and tortoises were captured from freshwater wetlands located in an island bounded in the north by the bifurcation of River Niger at Aboh, and between Ramos River to the west and San Bartholomew River to the east and in the south by the mangrove ecosystem at the fringe of the Atlantic Ocean. These wetlands turtles and tortoises are mostly exploited for meat, traditional medicine and as source of employment and income. The species exploited include 2 species of turtles (Pelusios niger and P. castaneus) and tortoises (Kinixys erosa and K. homeana). The study concluded that this pattern of wildlife exploitation is unsustainable.
Biodiversity, Conservation, Herpetofauna, Wetlands
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Elijah Ige Ohimain, Dimie Otobotekere, Biriduba Woyengitonyokopa, Unsustainable Exploitation of Freshwater Wetland Turtles and Tortoises in Central Niger Delta, International Journal of Environmental Monitoring and Analysis. Vol. 2, No. 2, 2014, pp. 57-64. doi: 10.11648/j.ijema.20140202.11
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