The Assessment of the Nigerian Forest Elephant Group on Omo Forest Reserve in Ogun State, Nigeria.


The 1901 forest proclamation in Nigeria that stipulated that a tree must be planted in place of any tree removed was an attempt by the authorities of the time to regulate log exploitation and introduce forest resources management. By and large the necessity to control logging activities to prevent untimely timber deficits became imperative that a forest ordinance to establish forest reserves was put in place in 1908. By 1930, about 97,000 ha of forest reserves had been established and by 1970 forest reserves had increased to 9,342,000 ha.

At present the total area of forest reserves in Nigeria is about 10,762,702 ha (Omoluabi et al. , 1991). In the first half of the last century, Nigeria experienced a rapid expansion of logging activities with large forest concessions granted. During this period, forest management activities consisted largely of concession inspection accompanied by collection of fees and establishment of forest plantations on an experimental basis. However, much effort went into identifying the means f enhancing growth and regeneration of economic species through a system known as Tropical Shelter wood System (TSS) which entailed cutting the climbers and poisoning of the competing undesirable species. This was meant to have at least 25 merchantable trees per ha at harvesting. The system, which was practiced along with enrichment planting, where appropriate, was found faulty and therefore abandoned because it gave room for rapid climber re-growth after the canopy had been opened.

During the last five decades, pressure on forest resources continued to increase, primarily as a result of rapid population growth, unclear tenure systems, reliance on forest resources for rural economy and rural livelihood, and subsistence farming. Essentially, forest resources in Nigeria continue to dwindle due to clearing for extensive agriculture and shifting cultivation, extensive commercial logging and fuel wood gathering to meet the household energy requirements. All these human activities have remarkably affected Nigeria’s primary forests in terms of structure, land area and landforms.

Thus, the current vegetation cover which some scientists, hitherto, believed to be of three major types – tropical rainforest, tropical deciduous forest and tropical dry woodland – can be broadly delineated into mangrove and freshwater swamp forest, lowland rain forest, derived savanna forest and pure savanna (Guinea, Sudan and Sahel). As a result of the human activities identified above and, perhaps, the cumulative effects of natural phenomena, almost all the forests have been disturbed and thus reduced to secondary forests.

Some of these secondary forests may look mature to an ordinary eye and considered as primary forests. Only about 130,446 ha of the forests can be regarded as primary forests in Nigeria (Odu and Dun, 1999; Karim, 1999). They have not been disturbed because of the difficulty to access them owing to poor terrain. The taungya system became a system of choice as it was seen to be a more effective form of protection. Mono-cultural direct planting on clear-felled land of heavily degraded post extraction forest is now common.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Nigerian government in association with the Colonial Government and timber extraction processors registered several Forest Reserves with the aim of managing the forest to sustain a supply of wood in perpetuity. The Omo Forest Reserve was registered in 1916 with the goal to produce sawn timber on sustainable yield basis. In 1946, the Nigerian Forest Department established in some of her Forest Reserves so called Inviolate Plots “to preserve typical pieces of Nigerian Forest in an untouched state for posterity”. The Inviolate Plot in Omo Forest was established in 1949 and has an area of. 6 km2. Since 1954, these areas have been designated Strict Natural Reserves (SNR’s) by the Federal Department of Forest Research(now Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria ) in accordance with the 1939 London Convention on the Preservation of the African Flora and Fauna. Strict Natural Reserves are created to protect representative samples of natural ecosystems for preservation of biodiversity and ecological processes, for scientific study, environmental monitoring, and education and for the maintenance of genetic resources in dynamic and evolutionary states.

During these periods, precisely from 1925, the Omo Forest was enriched with varieties of both flora and fauna including Loxondonta Africana Cyclotis and several species of trees. In the 1980s as well as early 90s the forest has been tampered with by the influx of several inhabitants in tree felling, poarching, such as Hausas, Igbo and also the Ghanaians (NFEPG); this is what really made the NFEPG to intervene to the unbearable situation in the Omo Forest Reserve The Nigeria Forest Elephant Group is an NGO that was registered from 1991 as a Nigerian Incorporated Trust, under nr. 466, from 1993 a UK registered Charity Company, nr. 1025459. From the year 1991, the NFEG was granted permission by the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources in Ogun State to operate for survey purposes within the 650 square kilometers of the Omo Forest Reserve (OFR), not used for plantation purpose, and to establish a base camp. (Ogunsami, 1991). In the year 1992, the Ogun State government allocated, adjacent to the Strict Inviolate (4. 6 km2) Biosphere Reserve, 142 km2 for the proposed Biosphere Extension Area (BEA), where hunting, fishing and tree felling is restricted, and asked the NFEG to demarcate the area. odeseye, 1993). The Nigeria Forest Elephant Group also known as the Nigerian Forest Elephant and wildlife Survey and Protection Group is a non-governmental organization which was fully established in 1992 after the registration by a British couple, Chief and Mrs. John Thornton who were long-time residents to Nigeria and who wanted to investigate the presence of the Forest Elephant (Loxodonta Africana Cyclotis) in the Omo Forest Reserve of Ogun State, Nigeria. (NCF, 2001). The objectives of the NFEPG are: •to scientifically investigate the present condition and future prospects of the Omo Forest, its flora and auna and the needs of its inhabitants. •to produce to the Ogun State Government a comprehensive proposal for ensuring the sustainable development and utilization of its resources. •the dissemination of its species diversity and •the dissemination of knowledge and understanding of its place and importance in Nigeria’s wider ecosystem. 1. 2Problem Statement In Nigeria, natural resources conservation and forest development and management are largely the responsibility of the Federal and State Governments.

While the Federal Government handles National Forest Policy, and Act formulation, legislation and signing of treaties on International Agreements on Conservation and Regulations with institutional frameworks, the state governments remain the custodians of their forest resources. For this reason, state governments have abundant freedom to harvest their natural resources. (except minerals) and they use that opportunity maximally in earning increased revenue from the forest and wildlife resources in their states. NFE, 1997) However, inadequate attentions and scarce resources are channeled to conservation, protection and sustainable management of flora and fauna in such forest estates from which maximum revenue is generated. The consequences of this inappropriate attitude to nature and forest financing are not limited to gross depletion of natural forest resources, they also include failure to attract or encourage non-governmental organizations in financing conservation and forest development programmes. (Weeks, 1997).

Originally, the Southern Forest Zone of Nigeria was apparently covered with between 360, 000 and 421, 0002 km2 of lowland rain forest and in 1940, much of this still existed. (Weeks, 1997). But after 38 years, in 1977, this forest type was reduced to only 10%, found as isolated patches in so called ‘Forest Reserves’ and in some Sacred Grooves ( usually very small), Allen and Shinde, 1977. It was presumed then that before the year 2010 the rain forest, with all its (endemic) species, will have totally disappeared in Nigeria (Omo Forest Reserve inclusive).

The inhabitants’ activities have remarkably affected Nigeria’s primary forests in terms of structure, land area and landforms. Thus, the current vegetation cover which some scientists, hitherto, believed to be of three major types – tropical rainforest, tropical deciduous forest and tropical dry woodland – can be broadly delineated into mangrove and freshwater swamp forest, lowland rain forest, derived savanna forest and pure savanna (Guinea, Sudan and Sahel).

As a result of the human activities identified above and, perhaps, the cumulative effects of natural phenomena, almost all the forests have been disturbed and thus reduced to secondary forests. Some of these secondary forests may look mature to an ordinary eye and considered as primary forests. Only about 130,446 ha of the forests can be regarded as primary forests in Nigeria (Odu and Dun, 1999; Karim, 1999). They have not been disturbed because of the difficulty to access them owing to poor terrain. Weeks, 1997). During the last five decades, pressure on forest resources continued to increase, primarily as a result of rapid population growth, unclear tenure systems, reliance on forest resources for rural economy and rural livelihood, and subsistence farming. Essentially, forest resources in Nigeria continue to dwindle due to clearing for extensive agriculture and shifting cultivation, extensive commercial logging and fuel wood gathering to meet the household energy requirements. 1. 3Research Questions

These research questions are raised to do justice to the research work 1. What are the activities of the NFEPG on flora and fauna conservation in Omo forestry? 2. What are the regulatory activities of the NFEPG on tree felling in Omo Forest Reserve? What are the viewpoints of the inhabitants of Omo Forest Reserve on NFEPG activities? 1. 4Objectives of the Study The broad objective of this study is to assess the activities of NFEP group on fauna, flora and tree conservation in Omo Forest Reserve.

The specific objectives are to :- a. To investigate NFEPG activities in the Omo Forest Reserve area; b. to examine how flora activities have been affected in Omo Forest Reserve by the intervention of NFEPG; c. to investigate how fauna (particularly elephants) has been affected in Omo Forest Reserve over time; d. to evaluate tree felling and tree regeneration activities in the Omo Forest Reserve; e. to obtain the viewpoints of Omo Forest Reserve inhabitants on the changes in flora and fauna in the last one and half decades; 1. Hypotheses of the Study Based on the problems and the set objectives highlighted for investigation, the following hypotheses are stated in the null form. Ho1:-There is no significant difference in flora improvement before and during the NFEPG intervention in Omo Forest Reserve. Ho2:-There is no significant difference in the fauna (elephants population) before and during the NFEPG intervention. Ho3:-There . is no significant difference in tree (gmelina) population before and during NFEP group intervention.

Ho4:-There is no significant difference in inhabitants’ income before and during NFEP group. 1. 6 Justification of the Study The Omo Forest Reserve covers an area of about 132, 090 hectares of which 25, 562 hectares were cleared and planted with Gmelina Arborea by the coats of the Omo Tropical Rain forest with rich biodiversity potentials for ecotourism. This is the buffer zone which surrounds strict Natural Reserve No. 1, otherwise known as the inviolate plot or Queen Elizabeth Bush.

These 460 hectares of forest were recognized by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve in 1977, and are presently the core research focus for Nigeria’s involvement in UNESCO’s “Regional Project on Biosphere Reserves for Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Development in Anglophone Africa” (BRAAF). The Biosphere Extension Area (BEA) was given into the stewardship of the Nigerian Forest Elephant Group (NFE) by the Ogun State government in 1993, and the Group was charged with the survey and delineation of its boundaries, and was asked to report on its status, presenting recommendations to government as and when appropriate.

The BEA covers some 142 square kilometres, and its boundaries run for approximately 90 Kilometres. Since the BEA is the primary buffer zone between SNR Cat. 1 and the less strictly controlled outer areas of the proposed biosphere, it was considered essential that an accurate survey of available resources with the BEA be carried out, so that future plans for protection, conservation and utilization may be based on sound foundations.

This consideration is given more weight by two important facts; that the Omo Forest Reserve has been mercilessly logged over the last thirty years; and that there are no credible statistics to cover remaining tree stocks in general, nor is there any data available to indicate the success of otherwise of natural generation once timber contractors have moved out of an area. In view of the status and global importance of the resources in the forest, it is imperative for the N. F. E. o thoroughly investigate the effects of devastating activities of both the loggers and the inhabitants of this forest which is detrimental to the conservation and sustainability of the forest. There is justification for the assessment of the group’s programme in Omo Forest Reserve in order to determine its impacts not only on the 6500 population of the well dispersed communities of the Forest Reserve but also on the creation of enabling environment for NGOs to contribute to forestry development in Ogun State.

The result of this study will make it possible for the extension service to design strategies to reach out to people (the inhabitants, NGOs and the state government) to give them environmental education (mostly the youths dwelling in the villages around the forest), making them to know the consequences of exploitation of the forest resources. (Imeh, 2005). 1. 7DEFINITION OF TERMS ?NFEPG: Nigerian Forest Elephant Wildlife Survey and Protection Group is essentially a research organization which aim is to scientifically investigate the present condition and future prospects of the Omo Forest Reserve in Ogun State. Assessment: Assessment means to estimate the size and the quality of something valuable and essential. ?Contributory Role: It means the aspect played by an individual or an organization towards the realization of an important goal in a specified area. ?OFR (Omo Forest Reserve): Omo Forest Reserve is one of the six contiguous forest reserves which lie in the east of Ogun State and the west of Ondo state in the south western Nigeria. CHAPTER TWO REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE 2. 1NIGERIA FOREST LAW The Nigerian forest law states the offences and penalties to be given to anybody who violates the rules and regulations entrenched in it.

The offences and penalties start from section 33 to 42 of the forest policy and act. It is explained, thus:- 33. (1) Any person who except, in accordance with the provisions of this Act, enters into, resides, erects any building or makes any camp in a State Forest Reserve shall be guilty of an offence. (2) The provision of the sub-section 1 of this section shall not apply to:- (a) any employee of the State Department of Forestry; any police officer or public officer on specified duty requiring his presence in the State Forest Reserve. 4. Any person who, unless authorized to do so under this Act or regulations made hereunder:- takes any forest products; (b) Uproots, burns, strips off the bark or leaves from or otherwise damages any tree; (c) set fire to any grass or herbage or kindles a fire without taking due precaution to prevent its spreading; (d) smokes or light a fire in any part of the State Forest Reserve within which, or at a time when smoking or the lighting of fires is prohibited; (e) pastures cattle or permits cattle to trespass; f) digs, cuts, turns or cultivate the soil or makes a farm or plantation; (g) Construct any dam or well across any river or stream or otherwise obstruct the channel of any river of any stream; (h) trespasses; in any part of State Forest Reserve; (i) resides or erect any building; (j) hunts or fishes; and (k) damages in any way or destroys any forest property, shall be guilty of an offence. (35)Any person who is guilty of an offence under section 32and 33 of this Act shall be liable on conviction to a fine of not less than N20, 000. 00 or to imprisonment of not less than one year or to both such fine and imprisonment. 36) A person who is guilty of an offence under 5 sub-section 4, poaragraph (a), is liable on conviction to a fine of not less than N10, 000. 00 or to a term of 3 months imprisonment or to both such fine and imprisonment. (37) (1) A person who is guilty of an offenece under section 11 (1) of this Act is liable on conviction to a fine of not less than N100, 000. 00 or imprisonment for a term of not less than 2 years or to both such fine and imprisonment. (2) On conviction, such products, instruments, vehicles etc used in the commission of the offence shall be forfeited to the State government. 38) A person who is guilty of an offence under Section 14 of this Act, is liable on conviction to a fine of not less than N200, 000. 00 or imprisonment for a term of not less than 3 years or to both such fine and imprisonment; and where such a person is a body corporate to a fine of not less than N1, 000,000. 00 (39). A person who is guilty of an offence under section 12 (1) and 3 shall be liable on conviction to a fine of not less than N10, 000. 00 or imprisonment for a term of not less than 3 months or to both such fine and imprisonment, and where such a person is a body to corporate to a fine of not less than N1, 000, 000. 0 (40) A person who aids, abets, procures or conspires with another person or attempts to commit any of the offences specified in this Act or regulations made under this Act is guilty of an offence as if he had committed the offence himself and shall be punished accordingly. (41) Any person who is guilty of an offence specified I this Act for which no specific penalty has been prescribed shall be liable on conviction of a fine of not less than N100, 000,00 or an imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to both such fine and imprisonment. 42) (1) Without prejudice to the provision of Section 174 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (which relates to the power of the Attorney General of the Federation to institute, continue or discontinue criminal proceedings against any person in any court of law), and subject to such directions whether general or specific as may be given by the Attorney General of the Federation, any State Forest official not below the rank of a Chief Forest Officer may stay or compound any proceedings for any offence committed within a State Forest Estates or for the condemnation of anything forfeited under the Act. 2) Where a person is reasonably suspected of having committed an offence under this Act, the compounding officer may, if the suspect so agrees, receive from such a sum of money not less than the stipulated penalties under this Act instead of initiating proceedings against the suspected person in a court of law provided that the compounded sum shall not be more than thrice the stipulated penalties. 3) On such payment being made, the suspected person shall be released if under custody and no other proceedings shall be taken against such person in respect of the offence and if any action is pending in any court in respect of the same person on the same facts the action shall be withdrawn. (4) The compounding officer shall ensure that any sum of money required to be paid is paid into an appropriate designated account and issue a receipt therefore. 43. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires; “Annual Allowable Cut” means the volume of timber which may be sustainably harvested from the nation’s forest each year (m3/ha. r) “Biodiversity” means the variability among living organisms from all sources including terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystem and the ecological complexes of which they are part, and include diversity within species between species and of ecosystems. “Biological material” includes genetic material organisms or part thereof, population or any other biotic component of the ecosystem. “Buffer zone” means area on the periphery of a protected ecosystem which marks the transition between this area and the area at which sport, hunting, agriculture and other activities can take place under supervised sustainable management. Ecosystem” means a dynamic complex of plant, animal and micro-organism communities and their non-living environment interacting as a functional unit. “Commissioner” means the commissioner charged with the responsibility for matters relating to forestry in a State. “Compoundment” means the process of hearing and passing a judgment on a forest offence by an authorized Forest Officer in accordance with stipulated Forestry Laws. Forests include Federal Forest Reserve, State Government Reserves, Protected Forests, Local Government Forest Reserves, Community Forest Areas and Private Forest Lands. Seed Orchard” means a uniform plantation of plus trees established for purpose of collecting seeds of regeneration. (42) This law may be cited as the State Forestry Act. (FAN, 2002). 2. 2OGUN STATE FORESTRY (Ogun State Ministry of Agriculture, (2003) states that ‘at the creation of the State in 1976, a total of nine (9) Forest Reserves were inherited from the former Western State’. The reserves altogether cover an area of 2732. 62sq. km, which is about 16% of the total land mass of Ogun State and spread across the three Senatorial Districts of the State, they are: •Omo Forest Reserve, Strict Natural Reserve (Inviolate Pilot) •Olokomeji Ilaro Forest Reserve •Eggua •Ohumbe •Aworo •Edun Stream •Arakanga •Imeko Game Reserve 2. 2. 1INVESTMENT POLICY OF THE STATE FORESTRY SUB-SECTOR Industrial development is a major factor in the promotion of the economic development of the people. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the government to promote and facilitate industrial growth with a view to enhancing accelerated economic development through industrialization of the state.

The state government’s investment policy in the forestry sub-sector includes: i) To ensure private participation in the socio-economic development of the forestry sub-sector especially in plantation establishment and eco-tourism ii) Promotion and encouragement of rapid development of the processing, manufacturing and other allied activities in the sub-sector iii) Creation of a favourable and enabling investment environment which will attract and enhance private investment in the forestry sub-sector of our economy. v) Maximize local value addition through the processing of wood for export and utilization of wood by-products. (v) Sustenance of the state’s leading role in the production of wood and wood materials vi) Sustenance of the existing structural and institutional framework for the development of the forestry sub-sector. (The State Ministry of Agriculture, 2011) 2. 2. 2INVESTMENT INCENTIVES IN THE FORESTRY SUB-SECTOR

In its bid to accelerate the pace of forest resources development in the state through the private sector participation, the state had recently introduced some measures such as:- i) Review of forestry law to accommodate low tariffs for private plantation owners. ii) Provision of land in designated rural areas for forest plantation establishment. iii) Improved rural road network v) Open door policy through close and healthy relationship between the state government and the Organized Private Sector v) Distribution/Sales of timber seedlings to private investors at highly subsidized rates vi) Tax concession/low tariff on logging activities on private plantations vii) Concessionary interest rates on Forestry loans. viii) Low/zero tariffs on agricultural/forestry equipment. ix) Wide- spread extension services on forest plantation establishment. (Ogun State Ministry of Agriculture, 2011). . 2. 3BUSINESS AND INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN THE FORESTRY SUB-SECTOR OF OGUN STATE Historically, timber was one of the earliest produce exported regularly from Nigeria between 1806 and 1975 at the time when Forestry contributed greatly to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and foreign exchange earning. The forest produce have the potentials to be a major foreign exchange earner if adequate resources are re-allocated to the sub-sector. Ogun state no doubt has abundant human, material and ecological resources for sustainable forestry activities.

The investment opportunities which abound in the state’s forestry sub-sector are enumerated below:- (i) Ecotourism Development The state has some designated sites for eco-tourism development. These sites are located at Arakanga near Abeokuta and Imeko. The sites are ideal for Games reserves, Zoological and Botanical gardens etc. If developed, they have high potentialities to attract foreign visitors thereby generating the much needed foreign exchange. This is a good business opportunity for the would-be investors. (ii) Wood Processing and Allied Industries

There are investment and business opportunities in the wood processing and allied industries. These include: • Establishment of sawmills. At present, the state has a little over 300 registered sawmills. Ogun State, being one of the largest producers of wood and wood products can still accommodate more sawmills. ? Establishment of Carpentry/Furniture workshops Ogun State is the home of assorted wood materials suitable for furniture raw materials etc. Investors could take full advantage of these vital raw materials. • Production of pulpwood and paper. Ogun State has the largest Gmelina plantation in the country.

This is an important raw material for paper and pulpwood industry. Investors are advised to make use of this unique opportunity. (iii) Mulberry Plantation/Sericulture Silk and silk materials are obtained primarily through the rearing of silk worms (sericulture). With the high demand for silk products internationally, this area is no doubt a promising investment opportunity. Ogun State is ecologically suitable for the production of mulberry which is a vital food material for the silk worms. (iv) Snail Production Snails are good delicacies in the catering industry. Snails are also good export products.

There are ample opportunities for the investors in snail production and processing. (v) Honey Production Honey and honey materials are becoming more important in the international markets. This is due partly to the importance of these products in the pharmaceutical industry. The state has a comparative advantage in honey production. (vi) Mushroom Production This is a Non-Timber Forest Product (NTFP) which is a good source of food for the teeming population. The would-be investors should take the advantage of our suitable climatic and ecological factors for mushroom production and canning for export. . 3THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE OMO FOREST RESERVE The complex of Omo and adjacent Forest Reserves and their water basins are located between latitudes 60301 and 70251 and 40001 and 40501 E in the Ijebu area of Ogun State in South Western Nigeria, at only 20 km from the Atlantic coast, and 100 km north-eart from Lagos. The reserve is surrounded by the Osun, Ago-Owu, Ife, Sasa ans Oluwa Foresr Reserves and the Lagos-Benin Highway passes through he southern part of the Reserve. (Weeks, 1997) The Omo Forest Reserve covers about 1305 km 2 (130. 500 ha). 14 km2 of this is rain forest, which includes a 4,6 km2 Strict Natural Reserve or (Biosphere Reserve) and 142 km2 Biosphere Extension Area. The rest consist of 526 km2 (exotic) Gmelina arborea plantation plus about 65 km2 of enclaves and cutout areas. (Ibid, 11. 3b) The complex of the Forest Reserve together is covering an area of circa 5, 000 km2. Their total watershed area makes the total area of roughly 10, 000 km2. The Reserve lies on the crystalline rocks of the undifferentiated basement complex which in the southern part is overlain by Eocene deposits of sand, clay and gravel.

The soil is tropical freginnous (Ferric luvisol). The terrain is undulating between 15 and 150 meters above sea level, with locally rocky hills rising up to 200-300 m. a. s. The area is bordered by the river Osun, Oni, Sasa and Owena and divided by the river Omo, which gave its name to the Reserve. The Omo Reserve has an average annual rainfall from 1600 to 2, 000 mm. The wet season is from June to December, with peaks in June and September, but rains intermiottently continue throughout the year. ( which hinders the accessibility of the forest by road).

The temperature ranges between 150 C (night) and 480C ( day in sun). Following the UNESCO and IUCN studies, the Reserve is situated in the moist, semi-ever green rain forest zone, in the Congolian sub-unit of the little protected Guinea-Congolian Centre of endemism. ( Odeseye, 1993). The area is the richest in Africa for butterflies, a high proportion of which species are endemic; highest in richness of bird species and richness in mammal diversity. (Op. Cit. 23). Some orchid species are exclusive to Omo. (Dike, 1992).

In the Omo Forest Reserve and its surroundings, hundreds of plants species exist which are wild varieties of cultivated species, or (potential) sources for food, raw materials, tools, medicine production and genetic improvement. (White, 1993) Of almost 300 plants listed as being of medical value in Western Nigeria (Mackinnon, 1986), over two hundred can be found in Omo. (Sanford, 1969) About half of the Omo Forest Reserve consists of mature secondary growth of lowland semi-deciduous forest. Besides, huge areas of closed canopies of deciduous shrubs also small pockets of primary forest exist in areas along the rivers, hill tops and ravines.

In the south patches of wetlands are found. There are more than 100 different tree species, some with girths up to 7 m and over 50 m tall The Omo Forest reserve still supports many endangered animal species of which among them are the endemic White-throated Guenon (Cercopithecus erythrogaster), the Chimpanzee ( Pan troglodytes), various species of Duikers among them the Yellow-backed Duiker ( Cephalophus sylvicultor), the African Buffalo (Syncerus caffer) and the little known sub-species of African Elephant ( Loxodonta africana ccilotis or Forest Elephants).

Through indirect observations, the Forest Elephants in the surveyed area (650 km2) of Omo Forest Reserve are estimated at approximately 85 elephants during the dry season (Op. Cit 8, p. 11-15). And 45 elephants during the wet season (Adjanohun et al, 1991). In comparison with estimates of forest Elephants density estimates from other parts of West Africa (0. 2 to 0. 33/km2) (Op. Cit 8, p. 13), the figures from the Omo Forest (0. 07- 0. 13 km2) are low. (Coad, 1993).

It appears that the main threat to the Forest Elephant population in Omo Forest Reserve is the continued logging disturbance and vegetation loss. No indication exist that elephants in the forest are being hunted. The elephants migrate between the Omo and the surrounding Reserves Forest. A mammal which is endemic in the South West of Nigeria is the white throated Guenon (Cercopithecus erythrogaster) and is classified as an endangered species in the IUCN Red Data Book, Threatened Primates of Africa of 1988 (p. 69).

Here, the Omo Forest is named as an area which should be safeguarded. Together with the surrounding rain forest, the Omo Forest Reserve is one of the last areas where this primate has any chance to survive. (Johansen, 1993). The Omo Forest Reserve is one of six contiguous forest reserve which lies in the east of Ogun State and the west of Ondo State in South Western Nigeria. The other five are the Oshun, Ago-Owu, Ife, Shasha, and Oluwa Forest Reserves. Together, these reserves cover an area of approximately 5,000 square kilometers or 500,000 hectares.

A working plan for the Omo/Oshun Forest Reserves, written by P. A. Allison, conservator of Forests, Ijebu-Province, Western Region, was compiled initially for the 25 years period June 1950 to May 1975. Rotation was provisionally set at 100 years, and the working circle covered some 1167 square kilometres, comprising the whole of Omo Forest Reserve ( that is to say timber areas J1, J3, J4, J6 and Akilla plantation),and the whole of he Oshun Forest Reserve. 1088 square kilometres were to be managed under the uniform Shelter wood Compartment System.

The plan was beautifully drawn up, and contains a wealth of detailed information about Omo both before and since its inception in 1916, regarding species distribution and extracted volume, costings, prices and procedures. The plan was apparently never implemented. (Allison, 1950). Omo Forest Reserve is of great importance to Ogun State and Nigeria at large because it is one of the major sources of income to the state government in the time past and in recent time. 2. 4HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF NIGERIAN FOREST ELEPHANT PROTECTION GROUP The Nigerian Forest Elephant Group has been in existence for 5 years.

Essentially a research organization, the Group’s aims are practical and down on earth. It is to scientifically investigate the present condition and future prospect of the Omo Forest, its flora and fauna, and the needs of its indigenous peoples, with a view to producing for the Ogun State government comprehensive management proposals for ensuring the sustainable development and utilization of its resources, the protection of its species diversity, and the dissemination of knowledge and understanding of its place and importance in Nigeria’s wider ecosystem. Weeks, 1997) Formed initially by John and Jill Thorton, long time residents of Nigeria, to investigate reports of the presence of forest elephants (Loxodonta Africana cyclotis) in the Omo Forest, the Group secured the services of four consecutive 2-strong teams of zoology graduate volunteers from the UK, assisted by a squad of Nigerian trackers and guides. A great deal of valuable data was collected during this early period, and the presence of a breeding population of forest elephants was established.

However, it very soon became clear that the forest itself was in desperate need of protection, along with the numerous species of animals and plants which live there. (N. C. F. , 2008) NFE needed specialist input for an extended period, and negotiations with voluntary service overseas (UK) began. The attachment of a forester and a zoologist followed in 1995. NFE operations are now centred on an all-weather field headquarters in the Omo Forest Reserve.

Abaerin (House of the Elephant) is a hilltop camp comprising nine semi-permanent buildings including a newly completed Education and interpretation centre complete with nature trail. ( Weeks, 1997). The contributory role of the NFEPG in Omo Forest Reserve cannot be underestimated. The NFEPG has really tried in Omo Forest Reserve with their investigations, management, educative activities as well as reports on the Omo Forest. Without the thorough investigations scientifically carried out in the forest, there will be no detailed information as regards the forest.

Despite their unrelenting and unflinching efforts towards the sustainability of the forest, the exploitative human activities of the inhabitants have jeopardized many of their sacrificing efforts. 2. 5FOREST ELEPHANTS (LOXODONTA AFRICANA CYCLOTIS) IN SOUTH-WESTERN NIGERIA Data on elephants in Nigeria are particularly lacking (L. Niskanen, 2006) with most of the available information being anecdotal, based on interviews and a few sighting reports of questionable reliability.

For example, a total of 84 individuals was estimated by the Nigerian Forest Elephant Group (Ishola 1999) in the Omo Forest Reserve (elephants being the focus species of this organization, active between 1990 and 1999), while Mshelbwala cited in AfESG–AED (2005) reported the presence of 30 individuals in the same reserve in 1998, thus providing conflicting population estimates of the species. In addressing this lack of reliable information, data are had been collected on forest elephants in protected areas of southwestern Nigeria since February 2007 (Ikemeh 2007 and Oates et al. 008). Specifically, these areas include the Okomu National Park and the contiguous Omo, Oluwa and Shasha Forest Reserves. Additional information from an ongoing survey in Ifon Forest Reserve undertaken by another team of researchers from the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, as well as reports from State Ministry officials in Akure-Ofosu Forest Reserve is also used to illustrate the patchy distribution of forest elephants in southwestern Nigeria.

The information collected provides an index of relative elephant densities based on rates of encounter with signs of their presence and a better understanding of the species’ spatial distribution in each of the areas. Forest elephants were noted in Omo between January and April 2008. It shows that the number of elephant observations per recce is 3. 9 or 0. 75 per km, but this number is only indicative for the forest fragment on the western part of the reserve (Oates et al. 2008).

Elephants also occur in the Shasha Forest Reserve (where only an old footprint was recorded close to the boundary of Omo) but they are reported to be present by local hunters. Elephant signs were also observed in the Okomu National Park, mostly in its southern part although their range includes the forest reserve. Observations outside the park were rare. There was no evidence of elephants in Oluwa Forest Reserve where they are believed to be locally extirpated, although locals claim the area supported elephants until 2005 when the last sighting was made (Ikemeh 2008).

With the increasing conversion of forest into plantations and farmlands even within the reserves, elephants conflict with people as they occasionally move between forest fragments, trampling and raiding crops. Hunting of elephants is reportedly uncommon in Omo, which the locals attributed to the lack of automatic weapons to kill an animal the size of an elephant, since what they have at their disposal are traditional guns using powder bullets.

The presence of elephants in major forest reserves cannot be over-emphazised but due to the exploitative activities of mostly the inhabitants of the rural areas in burning , paorching and hunting of animals, these important animal has been either chased away or wiped out totally from the surface of earth. Extinction is a natural process, therefore there is need to preserve and conserve elephants just because of the following reasons: ?

Elephants are highly endangered at the verge of extinction globally especially in the Omo Forest Reserve ? The disappearance of elephant will result in an imbalance in global ecology system ? Elephants serve prominent role in natural propagation of floral components as some seed may not germinate except they are eaten and digested in the alimentary canal of elephants. ?Elephant is the only largest land mammal in existence ?Elephant occupies a prominent position in the world’s ecotourism. (Weeks, 1997) 2. VALUABLE FLORA SPECIES THAT ATTRACTED DEPLETION OR EXTINCTION IN THE OMO FOREST RESERVE In Nigeria at present the destruction of natural habitats continues apace, resulting in the depletion of the country’s biodiversity. For example, the Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) which was once found in the Nigerian coastal waters right up to Lake Chad, is fast disappearing due to loss of habitat and the hunting of the crocodile for their meat, eggs and hide. Also in Southern Nigeria, the forest Elephant, Chimpanzee, Leopard, Yellow-backed duiker, the

Royal phyton, the Nigeria quenon (Cercophithecus erythorgaster) are among the animals on the endangered list. Forestry experts have reported that about 65 of Nigeria’s 560 Species of trees are now faced with extinction while many others are at different stages of risk. Every year a considerable part of the nation’s forest resources are destroyed through industrialisation, commerce, agriculture and the activities of rural dwellers, thereby disturbing the balance that nature maintains with the living and non-living resources.

It brings some comfort to know that some Governmental Agencies and Non-Governmental Agencies like the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA), the National Resources Council (NARECO) in Collaboration with the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and the World Wide Fund (WWF) and several other Agencies have embarked on programmes to protect and preserve the nation’s biodiversity.

This is a good step in the right direction since there is an ethical demand on society to preserve the Nation’s biodiversity for the future generation, for aesthetic values, for its economic and commercial value, for its pharmaceutical and medical prospects and also to protect and maintain the balance in the ecosystem. (Imeh, 2005) This implies that biodiversity provides mankind with the source of food, fuel, clothing, medical and a host of other uses. For years, micro-organisms have been used for fermentation, drugs, preservation, DNA research, biotechnology, genetic engineering, tissue culture and a host of other purposes.

An example is the Armadillo. A leprous Armadillo showed response to leprosy drug tests. This animal is now being used to test efficacy of these drugs. It does not take much imagination to realise what the world would be like if these flora and fauna had been destroyed before their usefulness was discovered. According to Adebobola (2005), in Nigeria today a large population resides and works in rural areas. These rural dwellers are a major contributor to forest depletion. Agriculture is dominant in these areas.

It has the greatest concentration of poverty, landless workers, small tenant farmers, small farm owners, the rural unemployed, and the poor of the poor in the Nation. As a result of the poverty level in these areas, biodiversity provides for 90% of their needs, a fact which plays a major role in the destruction and depletion of native flora and fauna. One major way there rural dwellers affect the biosphere is through the use of firewood as the major source of household energy. 95% of these dwellers use firewood as they cannot afford fossil fuel.

The demand for firewood has recently increased since the introduction of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) in July 1986. This programme resulted in a move of more people back to the rural areas into agriculture. Poverty in this group further increased the demand for firewood. The agricultural practices of peasant farmers bring further destruction to biodiversity. Slash – and – burn or shifting cultivation provides a basis for subsistent agriculture bringing about the burning of forests and bush, the depletion of nutrients and organic matter in the soil.

This is inimical to the conservation of forests. The use of outdated equipment and low-yielding agricultural materials makes room for an over demand for land, resulting in more forest being cleared for planting crops and pasture. Exploitation of the forest resources to generate (monetary) income in order to survive has resulted in the hunting of wildlife on an enormous scale. It is very common to see wildlife (bush meat) being hawked on our roads in Nigeria. These peasants are forced to hunt and trap animals in search of income, selling about 80% of the bushmeat they trap and consuming the rest.

Most of those hunting wildlife in Nigeria have little or no economic alternative. The most hunted species is what is known as “The Grass Cutter” (Thryonomys swinderianus), followed by the African giant rat (Cricetomysgambianus) and then small antelopes. Hunting, trapping and bush-burning to smoke out rodents from burrows brings about further devastation to the forest, to nature’s biological web. Small-scale forest-based enterprise such as the use of bamboo for making baskets, canes for making furniture all contribute their own quota to the destruction of the biosphere.

Indeed, most of the materials required for making cooking utensils, musical instruments, weapons, implements for fishing and hunting, clothes, adornments and games all come from the forest. Construction and maintenance of household structures in the rural areas also place their demand on wood, bamboo and grass. (Imeh, 2005) •The need for food – protein and other nutrients are mostly supplied through the forests. Many wild animals, fish and birds are caught for protein; providing up to 70% of their protein diet. Children collect termite, snails, and the caterpillars of several insects. They also collect ripe fruits, vegetables, mushrooms and ifferent kinds of leaves from the forest in order to supplement their diet, while bees are smoked out of their hives for their honey. •Knowledge of the many uses of flora and fauna in their environment are passed down over generations. The seed of the wild mango (Irvingia gabonensis) is a very important delicacy for making sauces (Ogbono) in the Eastern and Western part of Nigeria. The baobab tree widely distributed through the savannah in Nigeria has several uses. The young leaves are used in sauces, the powdery pulp of the fruit capsules are fermented to make beverages while the bark and rind are used for rope fibre and for fuel.

Many plants gathered serve as additional income. The leaves of (Theumatococcus danielli), is widely sold and used in the western part of the country as a wrapping material for food. Furthermore, about 80% of these rural dwellers depend on plants for treating ailments since many of them know no other medicines. Although a hunting and gathering of animals and plants are necessary for survival, it is the unsustainable use of these resources that creates the problem for species threatened with extinction as these are not replaced. (Imeh, 2005). •Conservation programmes have been greatly hindered in Nigeria as a result of poaching.

Compounding the problem is the simple fact that the communities in these reserve areas have a need for monetary income and they see little or no direct economic return to them as a result of the protection of these reserves. And many see the reserves as rightfully part of their land. The Nigerian Government remains preoccupied with economic problems such that they are unable to allocate enough resources for conservation, for research and monitoring of conservation programmes, for the creation of gene banks and education of the public concerning the importance of preserving the biosphere.

However, it is in the field of creating wildlife reserves and forestry through tree-planting that Nigeria has made the most conscious and discernible effort towards conservation. But, tree planting only preserves a part of the original biodiversity in an environment; it does not result in a return of the vast and varied flora and fauna hitherto destroyed. (Adebobola, 2005). Fuelled by poverty, low levels of education and a weak knowledge of conservation, the rural poor cannot appreciate the need for preserving our environment.

The same group that depends on the environment for many of its needs is thus often-times unrestrained in causing its destruction. For any meaningful and lasting conservation programme to be effectively carried out there must be a conscious effort in involving the local people in maintaining and managing their environment since the needs of these dwellers must be respected. Any action to limit the use of the forests without providing an alternative to them or alleviating their poverty or lack of education will meet with a lot of problems as can be seen from the incessant activities of poachers on our wildlife reserves. Adebobola, 2005) Table 2. 1: Some uses of plant species that have been depleted in Omo Forest Reserve with what they are used for. S/NScientific NamePlant typeFamilyUsesForm usedMode of use 1Amaranthus viridis linnHerb (C)AmaranthaceaeSoupFreshVegetable soup 2Celoesia argentea LinnHerb (C)AmaranthaceaeSoupFreshVegetable soup 3. Allium ascalonicum LinnHerb (C)Alliaceae1. Soup 2. Pile and 3. Malaria feverFresh and dry1. Condiment 2. Cooked with other herbs 3. As concoction 4. Anacardium occidentale LinnTree (C)AnacardiaceaeMalaria and feverFresh and dryCooked with other herbs and drink as concoction 5.

Mangnifera indica LinnTree (C)AnacardiaceaeFever and coughFresh and dryCooked as concoction 6. Spondias mombin PenTree (C)AnacardiaceaeHeadache Fresh and dryCooked as concoction with other ingredients. 7. Anonna senegalensis Pers Tree (U)AnonnaceaeSore treatmentFreshCrush the leaves and put the juice on the sore. 8. Alstonia boonei DeTree (U)ApocynaceaeMalaria fever & RheumatismFreshCook the leaves with other plants leaves and drink as concoction. 9. Bambusa vulgarisTree (U)BambucalaeMalaria fever and boilFreshCooked as concoction or boil and grind the leaves for sore treatment. 0Newbouldia laevis seemTree (U)BignonaceaeMalaria feverFreshCook with other herbs and take as concoction 11Ceiba petandra (Linn) GaerthTree (U)BombacaeaeSoupFreshThe fresh tender leaves are added as soup condiment to increase drawability. 12Piliostigma thonningiShrub (U)Caesalpinaceae1. Malaria fever 2. Pityacosis versicolourFresh1. Cook as concoction 2. Cook as concoction for drinking and bathing. 13Carica papaya LinnTree (U)CaricaceaeMalaria feverDry leaves that fell on the groundCook with other malaria herbs as concoction for malaria. 14Crassocephalum rubens (JUSS) S.

MooreHerb (U)CompositaeSoup and Stomach acheFresh1. Vegetable soup 2. Decoction of the leaves. 15. Vernonia amygdalina DelShrub (U)Compositae1. Soup 2. Ring worm 3. Itching 4. PileFresh1. Vegetable soup 2. Rub to affected part 3. Rub to affected part 4. Decoction in water and drink. 16. Curcubita pepo LinnHerb (C)CurcubitaceaeSoupFreshVegetable soup 17. Telfairia occidentale HookfHerb (C)CurcubitaceaeSoup Blood tonicFresh1. Vegetables soup 2. Decoction in water and drink the extract 18Discorea cayanensis LinnHerb (C)DiscoreaceaeTraditional charmsFreshIngredient for traditional charms. 9Cymbopogon cytratis stapf. (DC)Herb (U)Grammineae1. Food 2. MalariaDry Fresh1. Taken as tea (infusion) 2. Taken as concoction with other herbs. 20Ocimum gratissimum L. Shrub (C)Labitaceae1. Food 2. Pile 3. Stomach acheFresh Fresh Fresh1. Pepper soup 2. Decoction in water and drink 3. As above. 21Cajanus cajan LinnShrub (C)LeguminoceaeMalaria feverFresh and dryTaken as concoction with other herbs to treat malaria fever 22Gossypium barbadense LinnShrub (C)MalvaceaeMalaria feverFreshDrink the concoction. 3Hibiscus sabdanfa LinnShrub (C)MlavaceaeHypertensionFresh and dryEither the concoction or infusion is taken to treat hypertension 24Azardirachta indica (Juss)Tree (C)MeliaceaeMalaria feverFresh1. As concoction with other herbs 2. Decoction in water and drink 25Pseudocedrela kotschyi Schweinf (Hams)Tree (U)MeliaceaeMalaria feverFresh and dryTaken as concoction with other herbs 26Ficus carpensis SurTree (C)MoraceaeBlood tonicFreshTaken as concoction 27Psidium guajava LinnTree (C)MytaceaeTyphoid feverFreshTaken as concoction using the roots 28Abrus precatorus LinnHerb (C)PapilionaceaeCoughFreshChew and swallow the liquid. 9Talinium triangulare (Jacq) wildHerb (U)Potulaceae1. Soup 2. Yellow feverFresh Fresh1. Vegetable soup 2. Cook with (pap water) and drink as concoction 30Nauclea Latifolia M. Tree (U)RubiaceaeMalaria feverFresh and dryTaken as concoction after cooking with pap water 31Citrus medica LinnTree (C)RutaceaeMalaria feverFresh and dryTaken as concoction with other herbs 32Lecanodiscus cupanioides Ex. BenthTree (U)SapindaceaeSoupFreshFresh tender leaves added to soup to increase drawability. 33Solanum indicum LinnHerb (C)SolanaceaeAnt convulsionFreshAs concoction. 34Cola lateritia K.

SchumTree (U)SterculiaceaeMalaria feverFresh and dryAs concoction. 35Cochorus Olitorus Herb (C)Tiliaceae1. Soup 2. ImpotencyFresh FreshVegetable soup 36Celtis africana BurnifTree (U)UlnaeceaeImpotencyFresh and dryAs concoction. 37Gmelina arborea RoxbTree (C)VerbanaceaeAnimal fodderFreshFresh leaves are cult for goats and sheep 38Vitex doniana sweetTree (U)Verbanaceae1. Animal fodder 2. ImpotencyFresh and dry1. Fresh leaves taken by goats and sheep 2. As concoction. 39Morinda lucida Sur. Tree (U)RubiaceaeRubiaceaeMalaria feverDecoction in water with a little salt. U) Uncultivated, (C) Cultivated Source: Adapted from Ogunleye, 2004, pp. 2-7 Table 2. 2: Plant habits by percentage. Plant habits No of species% Of Total Shrubs615. 38 Herbs820. 51 Herbaceous climbers410. 26 Trees2153. 85 Total39100% Source: Adapted from Ogunleye, 2004, pp. 2-7 Table 2. 3: Medicinal categorization of Plant leaves in the study area. CategoryNo of Plant Species Malaria fever17 Yellow fever1 Rheumatism1 Anti convulsion1 Sexual impotence2 Boil2 Itching1 Stomach ache1 Typhoid 1 Fever1 Diabetes1 Hernia2 Anaemia2 Source: Adapted from Ogunleye, 2004, pp. 2-7 2. 7. A DIAGRAMMATIC REPRESENTATION OF A POSSIBLE PERIODIC BLOCK SYSTEM OF SUSTAINED EXPLOITATION. Assumptions: •That the overall allowable annual cut is never more than an acceptable percentage of mean annual increment. •That all management systems shall be geared towards sustainable logging in perpetuity. •That all possible care is taken to protect bio-diversity before, during and after exploitation. •That all stake holders are consulted during the planning stages of any exploitation proposals, and that stakeholders’ interest are continually monitored during forestry operations. That a program of enrichment planting be undertaken as soon as possible, replacing every felled tree with five (or more) seedlings of appropriate species, each to be planted in scraped ground and chemically weeded. •That the provisions of Ogun State Forest Law are strictly upheld in all respects. It is suggested that rotation be set initially at 100 years, that there should be a 50year cycle, and that forest shall be allocated for exploitation every 25 years. These figures can be adjusted once all relevant and available data has been collated and examined by the management team.

All that forest which is to be subject to working by this method should be gathered together within one Working Cycle. Prior to any timber felling being allowed, any potential seed should be marked clearly with a wide yellow paint band at breast height or above buttress. Such trees are no account to be touched. ( Coad, 1993) Once periodic blocks have been set, exploitation should begin in those areas which have had the longest time to recover since loggings last took place. Great care should be exercised when planning the layout of major extraction routes and spur road density.

The presence or absence of commercially accessible quantities of timber should be a significant decider in this, and concessionaire should be dissuaded from ploughing through miles of regenerating forest to get at single trees. The environmental damage done far outweighs any monetary gain, and as a matter of course, road density should be kept to a commercially viable minimum. (Weeks, 1997) Table 2. 1COMMERCIALLY IMPORTANT TIMBER SPECIES RECORDED IN OMO FOREST RESERVE Code Yoruba Botanical Names 101ABURAMitragyna Ciliate 103APA- IGBOAfzelia Africana 108AFARATerminalia superba 09AWUNAlstonia Boonei 110AYISAUapaca Guineensis 111ARABACeiba pentandra 116JEBUEntandrophragma utile 117IROKOChlorophora excelsa 118OGANWUkhaya Ivorensis 120ANYAN Distemonanthus benthamianus 122OMOCordia platythyrsa 124OROAntiaris Africana 125OPOROPOROpterygota macrocarpa 126OBECHE triplochyton scleroxylon 130OPEPENauclea diderichii 131AYUNRE Albizia spp. 134EKKILophira alata 136EKUbrachystegia nigerica 140IJEBUEntandrophragma spp 141APAKOCleistopholis patens 142AYOHoloptelea grandis 143AKOMUPcycnanthus angolensis 144ERUNJE Xylopia aethiopica 145AGBOINPiptadeniastrum Africana 46OGBOGBODetarium senegalense 147ERUNErythropleum ivorense 149OTAFagara spp 150UTOBaphia pubescens 155BOMBAXBombax spp 156ERUPachyelasma tessmannii (Weeks, 1997) Table 2. 2TOTAL REGENERATION RECORDED -ALL TRANSECT CodeYorubaNo of StemsPercentage of Regeneration 101ABURA230. 21% 103APA-IGBO10. 015% 105OTAKO123211. 06% 106AWASA1941. 74% 108 AFARA810. 73% 109AWUN280. 25% 111ARABA990. 89% 114ESU119510. 73% 116JEBU120. 11% 117IROKO40. 03% 118OGANWU1861. 67% 121OKO50. 05% 122OMO3723. 34% 125OPOROPORO1881. 69% 126OBECE1211. 09% 127TAFIYA8807. 90% 129IRE8247. 40% 130OPEPE1281. 15% 131AYUNRE40. 03% 34EKKI1151. 03% 136EKU230. 21% 138AGBAWO4123. 70% 140IJEBU380. 34% 142AYO30. 03% 143AKOMU60. 05% 145AGBOIN470. 42% 147ERUN30. 03% 149OTA750. 67% 154BUSHCOCO1881. 69% 155BOMBAX430. 39% 161UUNKOWN460541. 36% Despite the laid-down procedures to protect, regenerate and conserve the trees in the Omo Forest reserve, none of these has been put in place just as a result of the corruptive attitudes and lifestyle of the forest officials that are working in the Omo forest Reserve ever since these plans had been suggested; this has really led to the non-availability of important trees in the forest. Imeh, 2005) CHAPTER THREE 3. 0RESEARCH METHODOLOGY 3. 1The study Area The study area covers Omo Forest Reserve which is the largest and most economically sustainable of the nine forest reserves in Ogun State. The Omo Forest Reserve is one of the six contiguous reserves which is in the east of Ogun State and the west of Ondo State in South western Nigeria. The other five are the Oshun, Ago Owu, Ife, Shasha and Oluwa forest reserves. Together, these reserves cover an area of approximately 5,000 km2 or 500, 000 hectares.

The villages in this area are Abatutu, Abeku, Eseki Etemi, Garad, Gbowonpa, Idiegun, J4, Ogunbo, Olifasin, Ologie, Osoko and Tami Tami. The Omo forest (that is to say timber area J1, J3, J4, J6 and Akilla plantation) covers an area of 132090 hectares and situated about 135km north or west of Lagos and 120km east of Abeokuta. The reserve has an annual rainfall of more than 2, 000mm. the ground is usually wet till November but rains continue intermittently throughout the year and can seriously affect road accessibility. The temperature ranges from 150c at night to 480c during the day depending on the time of the year.

The forest consists largely of nature secondary lowland tropical moist forest with small pockets of primary forest along the rivers, on hilltops and in riverine areas. There are more than 200 species of trees in this reserve from a total number of about 900 found throughout Nigeria as a whole. The population of Omo Forest Reserve is 6,500 (S. Johansan, 1994). The communities are well dispersed and are mainly on the periphery of the forest, either in small camps or villages. During the dry season, there is temporary influx of Hausa from the north, Ibo from the east and also non-Nigerians mainly Ghanaians.

There are five main timber camps like J1, J3, J4, J6and Akilla. (Weeks, 1997). The timber camps are camps made by timber operators for their convenience during their stay in the forest. The main occupation of the community is farming; each community consists of four (4) villages. 3. 2 Sampling Technique and Sample Size For management purpose, Omo Forest Reserve was divided into five timber areas which are J1, J3, J4, J6 and Akilla with a total population of 6,500 (Johansan, 1994). Multistage sampling techniques will be used in the primary data collection.

Each of the timber area will form a stratum. Two of the five strata J1 and J4 will be sampled. There are four villages in each of the stratum, the respondents will be sampled using a number from the book of random numbers e. g 4. The house number 4th , 14th , 24th, 34th, 44th, 54th etc will be sampled on the even side. At the odd side of the street; number 7 will be used hence 7th, 17th, 27th, 37th, 47th, 57th, houses will be sampled in all the eight villages. These will make a total of 165 respondents. 3. 3 Research Instrument

An interview guide containing series of questions will be designed and will also be administered to elicit information from the respondents under six sub-heads: a. Personal and socio-economic characteristics of the respondents b. The impact of the NFEPG on the welfares of the Omo forest people c. The effects of the environmental education given to the indigenes. d. to investigate how fauna (particularly elephants) has been affected in Omo Forest Reserve over time. e. to evaluate tree felling and tree regeneration activities in Omo Forest Reserve. 3. 4Definition and Measurement of Variables

The variables are two categories as either dependent or independent variables to be investigated in the study. 3. 4. 1The Dependent Variable The regulatory activities of the NFEPG referred to the extent to which each respondent will benefit from the NFE in Omo Forest Reserve in order to sustain the livelihoods of their households. This will be measure by listing all the regulatory activities of the NFEPG in the Omo Forest Reserve and a two scale response will be provided for respondent’s choice to determine if they have benefited from the regulatory activities of the Nigerian Forest Elephant Group as : a.

Yes b. No There are three (3) contributory activities of the NFE that are well known in the Omo Forest Reserve which will be considered: The contributory activities of the NFEPG are on the protection of: 1. Flora – malaria mitigating leaves 2. Fauna- elephants protection 3. Forest trees – regeneration 3. 4. 2The Independent Variables A. Personal and socio-economic characteristics of the respondents i. Age: is the actual chronological year of life of the respondents and is recorded in numerical figures. ii. Sex: The distinction of a person being a male or female and is coded for (1) male and (2) for female iii.

Marital Status: is the assessment of the respondents whether married identified as (2) or single as (1) iv. Family/Household size: The number of persons living together under the same roof as a household member v. Educational Level: is the level of formal school education a respondent had attained thus: No formal education (1), imcomplete primary education (2), completed primary school (3), incomplete secondary education (4), completed secondary education (5), post secondary education (6), Have university education (7) vi.

Religion: is the determination of the direction of the respondent’s faith, belief and worship. The options were: Christianity (1), Islam (2), Traditional religion (3), Free thinker (4) vii. Localization: is the length of time a person had lived and operated only within his place of abode in a locality The respondents will also be asked whether they are native of their villages of residents and recorded (1) for the non-natives and (2) for the natives.

Their native villages were asked and recorded in terms of the distances of their home town to their place of abode and scored thus: From neighbouring villages in the town (1), other camps within the village (2), other villages in the Omo Forest Reserve (3), other reserves in the region (5), outside the region (6) They were asked how long they had lived in these villages and recorded in number of years. viii.

Cosmopoliteness: is the measure of the frequency of travel to the nearest towns and villages and also to other villages around other reserves such as the shasha and Ago Owu reserves or the extent of ones exposure to other social systems outside his residence They were asked how far or frequently they travel outside their villages and to indicate the places they visit and the regularity of their visit and scored thus: N

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