Olumuyiwa A. Akande, Oladipo S. Olajesu, Adeola A. Lameed, Victoria Rowland, and Oluwatobi P. Olusina
This study assessed poaching activities and wildlife trade in and around Old Oyo National Park (OONP). National Parks are known as sanctuaries for biodiversity conservation globally. Thus, poaching and wildlife trade are two major banes threatening the existence and survival of our natural heritage. Both primary and secondary instruments were employed for data collection, A set of 365 questionnaires were administered using quantitative survey research method, by purposive sampling technique to select staff of OONP and thirty percent of the inhabitants around the park environs. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Results revealed that majority of the respondents were male (91.9%), The resources attracting poachers to the Park includes herbs (86.8%), fuel food (84.6%), seeds (81.6%), palm wine (78.9%), animal (73.7%), honey (52.9%), and timber (67.7%), among others. It was further revealed that local people, loggers and hunters were the key people involved in the illegal activities. The reasons for these were attributed to shortage of natural resources (74%), spread of food borne illness (87%), tourist boycott due to poaching (58%) and extinction of flora and fauna species (65%). It can be concluded that illegal activities is the bane of sustainable development of our Parks. We therefore suggest that the Park be managed in a purely communal and scientific way to serve as sanctuary for wildlife.
Keywords: National Park, Wildlife trade, Poaching, Conservation, Tourist Boycott, Sanctuary