Level of Participation of Rural Dwellers in Conservation Practices Around Old Oyo National Park, Nigeria
Dept of Wildlife and Fisheries Management, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Ibadan
Accepted on December 3, 2007.
This study was carried out in the communities bordering Old Oyo National Park located in Oyo State, to determine the level of participation of rural dwellers in conservation practices. The park has five ranges from which three ranges: Tede, Marguba and Oyo-Ile were purposively selected for the study. Also, a total of seven villages were purposively selected from the three ranges viz: Alakuuko and Ajebamidele from Tede range; Abanla and Lukutu from Marguba range; and Alada, Alaba and Ogundiran from Oyo-ile range. Fifty respondents were randomly sampled from each of the ranges to give a total of 150 respondents. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used for the analysis of data. The study revealed, among others, that those that never participated in various conservation activities and management of the park were the highest (34.9%), followed by those that occasionally participated in the activities (30.0%). Sex, marital status, educational level and religion of the respondents were not significantly (P < 0.05) associated with the level of participation in the conservation practices. The respondents occasional participation levels in conservation practices such as boundary demarcation, construction of jeep track, and planting of hedges were rated as: 45.8%, 48.5%, 72.8% respectively, while the activities that were never participated in by the respondents are anti-poaching patrol, veterinary care, fire control and excursion or visitation into the park that were rated as: 75.5%, 70.3%, 42.2% and 55.7% respectively. It was further revealed that constraint was the highest predictor of rural dwellers’ participation in conservation and management of the park (B = 1.221). This was followed in sequence by the ranges (B = 0.633), family size (B = 0.120) and gender (B = 0.787). Recommendations such as enlightenment campaign, repair of roads and provision of other basic amenities are made to enhance rural dwellers’ participation in conservation and management of Old Oyo National Park.