PROFILE OF WILDLIFE ANIMALS MEAT (BUSH MEAT) CONSUMERS IN SOUTHWEST, NIGERIA
Keywords:Wildlife, bush meat consumers, sustainable environment, conservation education
Bushmeat constitutes a significant proportion of human dietary animal protein intake. This study profiled bush meat consumers in Southwest, Nigeria. Specifically, the study described the socioeconomic characteristics of respondents; examined respondents’ knowledge and attitude to wildlife and established the pattern of bushmeat consumption among respondents. Using simple
random and snow-ball sampling techniques, two hundred (200) respondents were selected as study sample. Relevant data were collected using questionnaires, and were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Results showed that 59.5% of the respondents were males with mean age of 41.0±18.9years, most (85.0%) of whom attained tertiary education and were urban residents (69.5%). Some (26.0%) were government officials and professionals (35.0%) with an average monthly income of ₦200,746.52± ₦41,808.50. Most (86.0%) of the sampled respondents knew that earthworms maintain soil fertility and that tigers and leopards are types of cat (80.5%) while 58.5% believed that wild animals meat should always be served on special occasions and that wild animals should not be protected at the expense of people making economic livelihood, off the land (57.5%). Results further revealed that in the last one year, 20.5% of the sampled respondents consumed bushmeat once, and twice (20.0%), mostly at the restaurants. Respondents had considerable knowledge of wildlife but cared less about its conservation. Hence, conservation education is imperative in the study area.