This chapter examines the ecological effects of bushmeat extraction activities/methods and utilization of wildlife resources in the study area. It also highlights the perception of rural dwellers on the abundance of wildlife resources in the past 10 years as well as suggesting solution to this impending danger of depletion. Two different methods were used. The first method being stratified sampling method was used to investigate the activities involved in the extraction and utilization of wildlife resources, while the other method used a questionnaire to investigate the local people’s perceptions on the abundance of wildlife resources. Results showed that gunshots were the most used (32.4%) of all the methods of extracting bushmeat in the study area, followed by the use of snares (25.5%). However, 86% (n = 86) of the respondents admitted that they consume bushmeat, while only 14% (n = 14) claimed otherwise. Buying bushmeat from markets and hunters ranked highest 55% (n = 33) among the methods of getting bushmeat in the study area, followed by the method of indirect hunting 30% (n = 18). Respondents claimed that bushmeat was occasionally consumed 38.1% (n = 37). Furthermore, 88% (n = 86) of the respondents agreed that there has been drastic change, while only about 12% (n = 12) objected to the marked difference in wildlife abundance in the park in the last 10 years. Note that 53% (n = 49) of the respondents agreed that wildlife resources in the study area have been depleted. The perception of the communities’ members on the establishment of community-based wildlife management program in the area is significant (0.013*) at 0.05 level. The study revealed high level of hunting activities resulting from the use of unsustainable hunting methods, high demand for bushmeat, and lack of capacity to control hunting in the park. Lack of adequate attention to the role of bushmeat utilization as an important contributor of local livelihoods by development agencies, nongovernmental and intergovernmental organizations, and national governments contributes to the unsustainable hunting of bushmeat in tropical forests. Finally, to achieve the levels of protection necessary, habitat preservation therefore remains the key criterion for any conservation program, for without sufficient quantity and quality of habitat there will be no viable wildlife population to protect.
Part of the book: Global Exposition of Wildlife Management