IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON WILDLIFE RESOURCE CONSERVATION IN NSUKKA AGRICULTURAL ZONE OF ENUGU STATE

ABSTRACT

The study determined the impact of climate change on wildlife resource conservation in Nsukka Agricultural zone of Enugu State. Specifically, the study identified the impacts of climate change on wildlife habitat, wildlife forages, wildlife health and reproduction, environmental degradation threats on wildlife conservation and sustainable wildlife conservation practices to preserve wildlife resources. Five research questions and five null hypotheses guided the study. The study adopted a descriptive survey research design. Five research questions were answered and five null hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance. Structured questionnaire was used to collect data for the study. The population for the study was 138 comprising 115 registered farmers (hunters) and 23 extension agents in Nsukka Agricultural Zone of Enugu State. No sample was drawn as the population was manageable. The research instrument was subjected to face validation by three experts, all from the Department of Agricultural Education, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The instrument was trial tested on 20 respondents outside the study area. The data collected were subjected to reliability test using Cronbach Alpha which yielded a coefficient of 0.78. The instrument was administered by the researcher with the help of three research assistants. One hundred and thirty four out of 138 copies of the instrument administered were duly completed and returned reflecting a return rate of 97%. The data collected were analyzed using Mean to answer research questions while t-test was used to test the hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance(p). Findings of the study, among others, revealed that flooding destroys nesting home for wildlife; drought affects forest tree growth and regeneration; drought conditions alter breeding sites; climate change favours the growth of plant pests and diseases; heavy rainfall events cause flooding of wildlife habitat; thunder storm sets habitats on fire; alteration of habitat by extreme weather events makes habitat unconducive; strong winds pull down tree and expose the habitat and excessive sunshine affects vegetative growth. Based on the findings of the study, it was recommended among others that t he findings on the impact of climate change on wildlife habitat should be packaged and used as tool for public enlightenment and education by the National Orientation Agency to sensitize Nigerians on the dangers of climate change.

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
Background of the study
Agriculture produces the basic necessities for human survival. It is the production of crops and rearing of livestock for man’s benefit (Tatathi, Naik and Jalgaonkar, 2011). It forms the basis for industrial and economic development (steward, 2000). It includes the raising of animals and cultivation of crops for food, fibre, bio-fuel, drugs and other products meant for sustainability of human life. In Nigeria, agriculture provides a source of employment for more than 70% of her population and contributes 33.69% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (National Bureau of statistics, 2013). The major agricultural produce in Nigeria are Rice, Cowpea, Millet, Sorghum, Maize, Palm Oil, Rubber, Goat, Sheep, Pig, Poultry, Timber and wildlife, among others. Apart from crop production and domestication of livestock, agriculture also involves conservation of wildlife.


Wildlife is one of the ecological capitals comprising every form of life from the tiniest microbes to the mightiest beast and the ecosystems of which they are part of (Osinem, 2005). According to the International Hunter Education Association (2003) wildlife refers to plant and animals that are not normally domesticated by man but are essential for his survival. They are living things that can die and be replaced by others of their type. In the context of this study, wildlife refers to wild animals only. Osinem (2005) stated that wild animals provide humanity with a cornucopia of goods and services for food, energy and materials to genes which protect the crops and heal diseases. The producte from wild animals are regarded as wildlife resources.

Wildlife resources are those products or materials obtained from wild animals to satisfy specific needs of man (Preres, 2001). Wildlife resources include such products like fibre, food, fuel, meat, industrial raw materials like hide and skin, hoof and timber, among others (Osinem and Mama, 2008). According to the authors, wildlife resources have nutritional, economic, health, ecological, cultural and religious importance to the users. It is a source of income and a means of livelihood to humanity. Almost all forms of wildlife resources are subject to capture or control by man who depend on them for survival. Osinem and Mama (2008) indicated that wildlife resource exists in various forms as mammals, reptiles, birds, aquatics and arachnids. The authors further explained that a variety of wildlife depend on vegetation for their existence and survival. Machl et al, (2007) stated that tropical cyclones have the potentials to devastate wide expanse of vegetation, causing loss of wildlife resources. Conservation of wildlife resources is dependent on climate.

Climate is the average weather condition of a place taken over a long period of time (American Meteorological Society AMS, 2011). Weather as a climate variable is the atmospheric condition determining the intensity of sunshine and amount of rainfall in a given environment. Climate defines the measures of temperature, humidity, pressure, wind, rainfall, sunshine intensity in a given area over a long period of time (Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC, 2007). Farmers suffer a lot of crop and animal failure whenever there are changes in rainfall pattern and change in climate in general.


Climate change refers to a noticeable variation in weather condition which last for a decade or more affecting both plants and animals in their environment and usually caused by nature and human activities. IPCC (2007) explained climate change as a significant.....

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Attribute: 119 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: N3,000  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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