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Course CodeFWM 306
Course Title Wildlife Ecology and Management
3 Units
5 hours a week
Coordinator Dr. O.A Jayeola
Room E 204 COLERM Building
Course Content
Organisation of Wildlife resources. Wildlife in relation to
environment. Factors affecting distribution and abundance of
wildlife. Wildlife population characteristics: mortality,
movement, life cycles, food and food habit, wildlife capture
techniques, handling, feeding and care of captured animals
Wildlife Management deals with manipulation of flora, soil and hydrological
resources for sustainability of undomesticated fauna resources for the benefits of
Preservation can be described as ways of keeping away the fauna and flora
resources from harm perpetually.
Conservation could be defined as the achievement of the highest sustainable quality
of living for mankind by the rational utilization of the fauna and flora resources.
National parks are area of land set aside for the protection and preservation of
wildlife and their natural habitats.
Game reserve is an area set aside for the conservation of Wildlife.
In Nigeria today, there are eight National park and many game reserves that focuses
on managing both fauna and flora resources and their natural habitats.
The National parks is been controlled by the Federal Government of Nigerian and
Game reserve is controlled by State Government.
Nigeria National parks are:
Kainji lake, Old Oyo, Yankari (reverse back to game reserve status in 2006),
Okomu, Chad Basin, Cross River,
Ghasaka Gumti National park
•Preservation of wildlife species
•To encourage and promote Wildlife conservation for education and
•Maintenance of population of useful species
•To promote ecological diversity and stability through preservation of gene
pool and maintenance of continuity in gene pool
•Protection of fauna and flora resources from over exploitation.
Research and education:
Medicine and other economic product:
Conservation for tourism and national development:
Tourism in conservation area create job:Shooting of documentary film on wild animal:
Products of wild animal:Aerial purification:- supply of cellulose
Nigeria wildlife species are not as much in terms of their population
compare to what is obtainable in south and east Africa respectively.
The population of Nigeria wildlife is still evolving and growing hence cannot
be managed or provide same benefit like those of other nations of Africa.
Despite the aforementioned, the diversity of Nigeria wildlife has been ranked
eleven in Africa by NEST, 1991.
 Information
on current status of wildlife globally is available at red list
 Categories of conservation or protected area are as follows:
 National park; Wildlife sanctuary, Biosphere reserve; Game reserve;
National Landmark/monument; etc.
•Scientific research
•Recreation and tourism
•Economically Wildlife protection provide means of sustenance to traders in hides, skin, meat, trophies and
other artisans.
•Wildlife provide meat for the populace
•Game hunting is a sort of sport in areas
•Birdwatching and Game Viewing is a hobby to many people.
• Several parts of birds and big ungulates serve as trophies.
•Wildlife and their environment are important materials for education and research.
•Researches are easily conducted and result of some finding can easily be tested on the wild animal.
•Protecting wild animal afford man the opportunity of learning from them and use them to his own
•Behaviours of some birds (e.g. pidgeon) allows them to be used as a means of disseminating information.
• Some animal can keep vigil and serve as watchdog.
•Portion of some wild animal are being used separately or together with other floral species in traditional
•Protection of wildlife ensures sustainability of supply of all the benefit
derivable from wildlife itself.
•Survival of greater number of species can be ensured as a result of protection.
•Endangered, threatened and near extinct species can be revived and the
process reversed either through in-situ or ex-situ method of protection.
•In-situ mean on-site protection mechanisms where the animal is allowed to
live and survived in its own home with minimum interference if there is any.
Ex-situ protection may be by means of cold storage of semen and eggs for
artificial insemination.
•Ecological and life processes will not be altered or disturbed rather it will be
Maintained and sustained through wildlife protection activity.
Wildlife productivity
• Factors affecting productivity of wild animal
are as follows;
• Sex ratio
• Gestation period
• Litter size
• Climate
• Parental care
• Disease, poaching, etc.
Wildlife Population Census/Inventory
All methods of estimating wild animals have basic assumptions which are:
Mortality and recruitment during the period when data are collected are negligible or if not
are corrected in the estimates.
All members of the population have an equal or known probability of being counted.
Two basic method of carrying out inventory or census of wild animal is by Direct and indirect
Population are not stagnant but dynamics and are affected by the following:
Density dependent factors such as competition (either intra or inter competition for food,
space, cover, water, etc), Diseases and parasites, habitat degradation such as over – grazing,
excessive defoliation, soil trampling, predation level, starvation, stress.
Density independent factors those include, weather condition, i.e. (rainfall pattern,
temperature), sex ratio, gestation period, puberty age, natural death, litter size.
Others are natural catastrophes like flood or excessive draught, Accidents, Poaching, Fire,
Volcanic eruptions.
Food is one of the most important requirements of a habitat, without food animals cannot survive,
however a lot of factors affect sources of food in a habitat these include:
•Habitat destruction: Such as uncontrolled burning, over grazing, soil erosion
•Uncontrolled Burning: Burning of vegetation indiscriminately usually resulted to destruction of flora
resources and prevent wildlife the opportunity of long dry season grazing, moreover, un-prescribed
burning reduces availability of vegetation for cover, reduction in growth rate and vigour of grasses,
shrubs and trees and finally leads to food and habitat degradation.
•Over grazing: In a rangeland where rotational grazing is not practiced, grazing of such rangeland by
animals usually resulted to over-grazing thereby limiting the source of food supply to the grazing
animals. overgrazing of pasture and leads to erosions of various types and the entire rangeland may be
lost totally to erosion if care is not taken early enough to control such erosion.
•Climatic Factors: Such as rainfall, temperature e.t.c. can determine the amount of vegetation in a
particular rangeland a decrease in annual rainfall and abnormal increase in annual temperature can
contribute to low biomass and can limit the source of forage for grazers.
•Invasion of rangeland by weeds usually leads to elimination of palatable forage species while the
weeds established themselves, weeds when allow to grow on pasture land limit food source of
herbivorous animals.
•Justification of the manipulation
•Evaluation of proposed manipulation effect on other natural resources.
•Manipulation must be economically feasible.
•Improvements must simulate perpetuation of flora and fauna resources.
•Manipulation must be designed to follow natural topographical features e.g.
rocks, valleys, rivers, e.t.c.
•Projects manipulation must be evaluated at intervals to determine if the
objectives have been achieved.
Rangelands are those areas of the world, which by reason of physical limitations such as low and erratic rainfall,
tough topography, poor drainage, or cold temperature are unsuitable to cultivation and which are a source of
forage for free – ranging native and domestic animals as well as a source of wood products, water and wildlife.
Rangelands generally are very important to wild animal population because it supports their population in the
following ways.
1.Range lands usually provides all year round grazing opportunity to wildlife population both in the dry and wet
season. Because of adequate sources of food provided by the rangelands, wild animals are able to convert plant
tissues to animal protein so fast resulting to proper development within the animal population.
1.Rangeland provides sources of cover to wildlife population most especially during the hot afternoon when
animals need to hibernate and rest for proper regurgitation of their feed intake, proper digestion and assimilation
for proper development of the body tissue.
2.Rangelands also provide a good breeding place or ground for the wildlife population, this helps to hide the less
defensive young ones away from the angry predators like lion, hyena, cheetah etc. therefore, rangelands have
help the wild animals to successfully increase their population by reducing mortality or death rate.
3.Well managed rangelands usually serve as water catchments area for the rangelands thereby providing water
throughout the year for the existing wildlife population.
4.Due to the nature of rangelands that are characterized with poor topography and large place of land it also
provide the wildlife population with the advantages of moving about freely to exercise their body thereby reducing
Range ecologist often consider both burning and respect to fire causes, control, regime, effect on natural
resources and the control of fire.
In savanna, fire is caused by natural phenomenon such as lightening, volcanic eruption etc and by man.
There are many reasons for burning bushes. Smoke is used to drive away bees for honey collections.
Fire is used in land preparation for cultivation settlement and urbanization programme.
Fire is used to flush or drive out animals during hunting.
Cattle rearers use fire to keep away or destroy vectors e.g. tsetse fly from livestock.
Bush burning is used in range land management practices. There are about five areas where fire is used in range
To remove old, coarse, unpalatable vegetation in order to stimulate new grass flush
It is used to improve visibility during game viewing.
To control, bush and encroachment of range land by woody plant spp.
Bush burning destroy vectors and other disease parasite.
Burning is used for revenge, however there is great controversy among ecologist whether or not fire
should be allowed as management tools.
Few controversies
Some ecologist especially the forest biologists are of the view that there should be no bush burning, while grazing
reserve and range managers favours controlled bush burning, but they have controversy of when and how to burn
for example.
It is not yet certain whether to burn or not
Is it to burn early or late in dry season.
Is it to burn annually or at what interval.
To burn every other year.
Ecological factors
Population – Litter size, puberty age,
gestation period.
Climate – Rainfall, Temperature
Soil – nutrient capacity
Flora and fauna management and
Amount of food and water.
Amount of cover and shelter for
roosting and sleeping.
Diseases and parasites.
Communities are not static but are
continually changing, a process called
ecologic succession. Succession is the
change in biotic and abotic
composition of a site over a period of
years as site would have a series of
communities, each succeeding, and
being succeeded by, other
communities as the site ages.
Succession begins on a site following
a geologic or other disturbances (for
example, recession of a glacier,
erosion, fire, flood, logging or
abandonment of cultivated ground).
Perhaps abandoned cropland is the
most familiar example of succession
Animal capture and transport.
Animal should be enclosed in container which are roomy
and comfortable and if the animal are to travel by sea,
the container must be larger and stronger than that
used for air transport.
Containers shall be strong; all nails and screw counter
Comteneurs which will stand on deck shall be provided
with feet or baffers to swallow a space of at least 10cm
between the bottom of the container and the deck.
Provision must be made in containers for inserting food
and water and removing excrement, without undue
disturbance to the animal.
Provision must be made for animal to see outside but
there must be curtain which can be drawn to give this
animal privacy when necessary.
Roof of containers that are not sheltering shall be made
water proof.
all containers shall be adequately ventilated and
protected from extreme of temperature.
Containers for birds which do not require padding under
the roof shall be ventilated as the top and on one side.
Perching birds shall be provided with suitable perches.
So many reasons can be adduced to the need
for capturing Wild animals. Below are some of
the inexhaustive reasons.
It allows Wildlife biologists to be able to treat
and take care of sick and
diseased animals
Capturing is done whenever a particular species
of animal are to be leased or exchanged with
another park or Zoological garden.
Capturing is done during research and field
investigation into biological, sex differentiation,
social behaviour, Pheno and Geno
characterization of the animal.
Marauding or dangerous animal can be
captured for rehabilitation or culling.
Endangered species can be captured for ex-situ
breeding exercise and be prevented from
Capturing, tagging/marking and release are
done mostly during animal census/population
Demonstration for conservation education at
times can involve capturing exercise.
Treatment of captured animal
The following steps and decision(s) need to be made before and during the
planning processes for animal capturing exercise.
Decide on the species, age, sex and the quantity of the animal to be
Decide on the method of capturing to be adopted. This is mostly based on
the species of the animal to be captured available facility and the number
of personnel available.
Organize a small pre-capturing in-house training for the team
Prepare and service the equipment and materials to be used, if necessary
before going to the field for capturing.
Prepare and get the transit cage ready
Make adequate arrangement for transportation and welfare of the
capturing group while in the field.
Make adequate preparation for acclimatization of the captured animal if
eventually the exercise is fruitful.
Also prepare a very good place with sufficient facility for the animal to live
in after acclimatization. This kind of house should be built having the
objective of capturing the said animal.
Finally plan for the release/Reintroduction or proper domestication of the
captured animal.
Always go to the armed with firearms and ammunitions for self-defense.
Don’t trouble the captured animal so much that they must have been half
been half dead before capturing. Such animal stands a very slim chance to
survive in captivity.
Be friendly to your captives, they need to be cared for.
Animals capturing techniques can be broadly categorized into three (3)
The use of chemical to immobilize an animal (use of injected drugs).
The use of different form of Traps.
Application of different capturing method using skills and various
Proper care of drugged animal is extremely important
because it can prevent injuries and reduce losses.
Handling procedures differs, it depend on the drug
compound usedto immobilize the animal. The basic
steps in handling animals are as follows.
Check vital signs such as respiration and heart beat rate
and treat accordingly.
Attach blindfold to protect eyes and calm the animal.
Place the animal in comfortable position, mostly on
brisket, a few on their sides.
Control head and neck, keep it elevated, but allow for
drainage of saliva and stomach fluids.
Maintain a clear breathing passage.
Keep noise and movements around the animal to a
Control leg thrashing or convulsion; the animal may be
need additional sedation or restraining device.
Clean and treat dart wounds with antibiotic and fly
repellant if necessary.
Administer pain reliever, other analgesic and cumtibiotic
drugs to combat infections.
Protect the animal from predators and adverse weather
conditions during recovery.
Allow the animal to recover quickly and undisturbed.
Release fully recovered animal with as little disturbance
as possible.