• Wildlife (Wild Animal Species): Refers to all living things; plants, vertebrates, invertebrates and micro-organisms, outside the direct control of man.


  • Wildlife refers to as all non-cultivated plants and non-domesticated animals in their natural habitat.


  • Wildlife includes but not limited to insects, spiders and birds, reptiles, fish, amphibians, and mammals if not domesticated (NCF, 1994).


  • Forest provides home for these wildlife.


  • Wild: Synonymous to natural habitat


  • Life: Includes plant and animals


  • Wild Plants: Includes all uncultivated plants in their natural habitat


  • Wild Organism: Includes all undomesticated animals in their natural habitat. It comprises of:

Micro-organism e.g. phytoplanktons and zooplanktons among others

Macro- organisms: Invertebrates: e.g Insects (bees), crabs, snail, clams, octopus, etc

Vertebrates: Fish/Pisces; bony fish (tilapia), cartilaginous fish, etc

Birds e.g. Ibadan malimbe, hummingbirds, parrot

Reptiles e.g snakes, lizards, alligators, crocodiles, turtle & tortoise

Amphibian e.g Salamanders, caecilians, toads & frogs

Mammal e.g. e.g dolphin, ungulates (antelope), gorilla and monkey


  • As various species of wildlife exist, so also exist various disciplines related to wildlife.


  • Wildlife Disciplines

Entomology : Is the study of insect

Apiology : Is the scientific study of honey bees

Ichthyology: Is the scientific study of fish

Ornithology: Is the study of birds

Herpetology : Is the study of reptiles and amphibians Mammalogy : Is the study of mammals,



However, of all these disciplines, the scientific study of mammals and birds appear to be most related to wildlife.




  1. African Elephant (Loxodonta africana (savanna), Loxodonta cyclotis (forest)
    • Gestation period 22 months
    • Number of young/Birth: one
    • Average life span 60 years, weight 4,070-6,100kg
  2. African Buffalo (Sycerus caffer (savannah), Sycerus nanus (forest)) – Gestation period 11 months – 1 young per birth.
    • Weight 318-818kg


3.Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibious )

    • Gestation period 230days
    • One young/birth
    • Average Weight 3,050kg


• Pigmy hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensis )

  • Gestation period 200 days
  • One young/birth
  • Average/weight 272kg


4.Black Rhinceros (Diceros bicornis)

  • Gestation period 450 days
  • One young/birth
  • Average weight 1180kg

6. Lion (Panthera leo )

  • Gestation period 3 months
  • Number of young/birth 2 – 6 young’s
  • Average weight 136 – 204kg


7. Leopard (Panthera pardus )

  • Gestation period 3 months
  • Number of young/birth 2 – 3
  • Average weight 68 – 77kg


8. Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus )

  • Gestation period 95 days
  • Number of young/birth 2 – 4
  • Average weight 45 – 64kg


  • This is the extraction of resources for the production of consumer goods and services.


  • Apart from providing food other types of consumptive uses of wildlife include products such as skins and hides, materials for hand crafts, or ceremonial uses , oils and medicines, live animal trades, sport, hunting, stock resources for domestication or improvement of domesticated breeds, farming activities and mineral resources exploitation.


  • All activities directed towards production of goods and services whichoften lead to the degradation of the environment.



(2) Non-consumptive Utilization

  • This is defined as the provision of natural amenities and services for recreational use such as game viewing, nature trail, swimming, boating and other water related recreational activities in lake and waterfall.


  • It includes spiritual and religious values, values due to the willingness of local and international user-public (tourist) to pay to see living and non-living resources in the natural setting.


(3) Sustainable Use

• This is the rate of harvest within the capacity of species and their habitats to maintain themselves. Sustainable use can be non-consumptive or consumptive in nature.


(4) Commercial Use

• This is defined as the management of native wildlife for profit. The terms utilization and commercial use are interchangeable



• Definition of Terms (1)Wildlife Conservation

  • This is the management of human use of the biosphere so that it may yield the greatest sustainable benefit to present generations, while maintaining its potential to meet the needs and aspiration of future generations.


  • Conservation involves preservation, maintenance, sustainable utilization, restoration and enhancement of the natural environment. Simply put, conservation is the wise use of natural resources, without wasting them


(2)Wildlife Preservation

Saving natural resources, but with no consumptive use of them

(3)Wildlife Management

  • It is the science and practice of maintaining wildlife populations and their habitats.


  • It has also been defined as the combination and application of business methods and ecological knowledge to manipulate undomesticated fauna and uncultivated flora (wild animals and plants) resources in a way that ensures their products and services will be sustained or


  • The application of ecological principles and knowledge to the management of wildlife entails certain basic approaches:
    • Preservation of wild species and allowing nature to follow a balance, devoid of any human intervention.
    • Direct or indirect manipulations of wild fauna population such as through cropping, culling, habitat alteration and other habitat management tool so as not to exceed carrying capacity.
    • Maintenance of useful and desirable species.
    • Sustained-yield management through limiting consumptive utilization to annual production capacity.


4. Habitat: It is where wildlife species fulfills their basic life needs such as nourishment, procreation, and rest. It is the sum total of all environmental requirements of an animal for survival: Habitat = food + water + cover + space + arrangement.


  • Food and water are necessary to all wildlife. Competition for these elements among species makes cover, space, and arrangement top priorities.


  • Cover protects animals from predators and the weather while they feed, breed, roost, nest, and travel. Cover ranges from thick weeds and brush to a few rocks piled together.
  • Space is necessary for adequate food among wildlife, territorial space for mating and nesting, and freedom from stress-related diseases.


The ideal arrangement places food, water, cover, and space in a small area so that animals minimize their energy use while fulfilling their basic needs for nourishment, procreation, and rest.


  • Carrying capacity: The number of animals the habitat can support throughout the year without damage to the animals or to the habitat.


  • Succession: Natural progression of vegetation and wildlife populations in an area; for example, as trees grow and form a canopy, shrubs and grasses will disappear along with the wildlife that use them as cover.






  1. Extinct (Ex): Species has not been seen in the wild or in captivity during the past 50 years.
  2. Extinct in the Wild (BW): As above, but the species is still held in zoological gardens on other live collection.


2. Ecological Extinction: This is defined as the reduction of a species to such low abundance that though it is still present in the community, it no longer interacts significantly with other species.


  1. Extirpation: Species is not extinct, but no longer occurring in a wild state or no longer exhibiting patterns of use.



  1. Critically Endangered (CR): The species is very threatened and at risk of becoming extinct.


  1. Endangered (EN): Any native species in immense danger of extirpation or extinction. Species is unlikely to survive if the factor thus is posing threat persists.


  1. Vulnerable (VU): Likely to become endangered in the future if factor that is posing threat persists.


  1. Near Threatened (NT): Species is approaching the threshold of vulnerability.


  1. Data Deficient (DD): Strongly suspected or thought to belong to one of the above categories but data is insufficient to substantiate.
  2. Rare (R): Species has small global population that is not threatened but is at risk.


11.Low Risk-Conservation Dependent (LR/CD): Species is in no immediate danger, but survival will depend on implementation of effective conservation measures in its range.


12. Low Risk-Not threatened (LR/NT): Species is in no immediate danger, but needs to be consistently monitored. (from IUCN threatened species categories 1996)


Causes of Threatened and Endangered Species

  • Urbanization
  • Competition with Introduced Species
  • Controlled Pests
  • Naturally Rare
  • Past Exploitation
  • Pesticides
  • Unknown
  • Illegal Killing

Of the possible causes for a species becoming endangered or threatened, legal hunting equals 0%.




  1. Illegal Hunting: The greatest and probably the most serious problem of wildlife management in Nigeria is the high rate of illegal hunting in degenerated resources coupled with the
  2. Misuse of fire: Misuse of fire in open range land by hunters and farmers are rampant are deadly to the existence of forest and wildlife.
  3. Illegal Settlements: As a result of land hunger in most of the moist rain forest areas and the rangelands. Illegal settlements inside game reserve, and the parks had robbed the nation of her wildlife resources
  4. Indiscriminate Felling of Trees: In both the rain forest and the savannah zones of Nigeria, the pressure due to logging operations, charcoal and fuel wood production had led to the destruction of our natural vegetation.
  5. Nomadic Behavour of Herdsmen: Nomadic herdsman had over the years constituted menace the herds graze within and outside the parks causing havoc.


  1. Inadequate Trained Personnel: Inadequacy of trained and skilled manpower to execute wildlife programmes at both Federal and state levels hinder the development of wildlife


  1. Inadequate Funding: Inadequate funding of wildlife conservation projects/ research coupled with poor co-coordination is another big constraints. The absence of a fully pledged and well-funded Federal Department of Wildlife to handle wildlife programme has greatly hinder the development of wildlife


  1. Lack of Effective Legislation: Lack of effective legislation to regulate exploitation and sales of wildlife and wildlife products in Nigeria.
  2. Poverty: The level of poverty of the masses of the people which had over the years slumped into low income, had aggravated the rate of their dependence on forest and forest products including the wildlife resources




  1. Education: Perhaps the first step towards effective wildlife management and conservation is a carefully organized public education programme that is targeted on both decisions makers and the public.
  2. Effective legislation: Legislation as a conservation tools is a means. But experience has shown that it is by no means an end.
  3. Funding: It is suggested that adequate funding should be available to train personnel, purchase wildlife equipments, such as patrol vehicles, communication gadgets etc.
  4. Research: There is still need for more research efforts towards the provision of necessary data for the formulation of up-to-date management plan for our parks, reserves and sanctuaries.





1.Bush meat: Bush meat which is the flesh of wild animals has being contributing immensely to the eradication of protein deficiency in West Africa and in Nigeria.

2.Environmental education: Zoological garden game reserves and national parts provide opportunity for people to learn about animals that live around them. Wildlife is our national heritage, we meet it on earth and are abound to live it for the future generation

3.Environmental protection: By conserving wildlife, the environment is equally conserved, the plant soil and water around them are conserved, and this helps to check environmental problems like erosion or flood.

4.Promotion of tourism: Wildlife is the main source of attraction of tourists to East and South Africa country Like Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe and South Africa have large number of various species of game animals which attracts large number of tourist to these country.

5.Provision of Medicines: Use of wildlife in traditional medicine, skins of some wildlife animals and snails are used to prepare Talisman, feaces, bones, hairs, teeth, blood and other different part of some wild animals are used to cure different human ailments.


  1. Medicinal Research: primate and other species of animals from African are used for medical research both locally and overseas
  2. Wildlife byproduct: This include skins, tusks, feathers, horns, bone of wild animals are used to make shoes, bags, belts, hats etc which are highly priced
  3. Revenue Generation: Government derives revenue from wildlife through hunting and entrance fees to game reserves, national park and zoological gardens’.
  4. Employment Opportunity: Wildlife creates jobs for people thus reducing the problem of unemployment in the country. Job includes:
    • Wildlife lecture/researcher
    • Wildlife officer
    • Wildlife guards
    • Game guard




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