Socio-Economic Status and Activities of Neighboring Communities in Pandam Wildlife Park, Plateau State, Nigeria
Markus Tilla Habila, Aguoru Celestine Uzoma, Iheukwumere Chidozie Charles, Olasan Joseph Olalekan * 

Department of Botany, Joseph Sarwuan Tarka University, Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria; (M.T.H.); (A.C.U.); (I.C.)

* Correspondence:


Pandam Wildlife Park is an important wildlife conservation area in Nigeria. This study assessed the socio-economic status and activities of neighboring communities in the park using structured questionnaires. The dominant monthly income level per family was <N20,000. Dependence on forest resources was observed. Among the top reasons for accessing the park were; herb collection, firewood collection, wood for construction, and hunting. Most respondents described the park’s security structure as “relaxed”. Therefore, security measures were in place but inadequate or porous. Results showed that the villagers had no prior knowledge of the afforestation program. The neighboring community cannot survive without depending on the park. All respondents believed that the park could only be protected sustainably when the locals are provided with alternative sources of income and resources. Other possible ways pointed out were: recruiting more rangers, tight security, zero corruption, and punishment. None of the respondents believed that sensitization or migration of community members from the area could solve the problem. In conclusion, the park needs intervention among stakeholders. This study has provided useful information on measures to be taken for the protection of Pandam Wildlife Park and the conservation of its biodiversity.

Keywords: forest; security; settlements; socioeconomics; wildlife park

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