Conservation and Sustainability of Hunted and Traded Wild Animals in Federal Capital Territory, Abuja (Nigeria): Perceptions and Implications (Published)
Anthropogenic activities pose a significant threat to wildlife, including hunting, trading, overexploitation of docile species, climate change, habitat loss from deforestation, encroachment into natural habitats, and general construction. The loss of wild animal species has far-reaching impacts on the environment and its inhabitants. This study assessed the hunting, trading, and values of wild animals in the FCT, and its implications for conservation and sustainability. The research focused on six selected areas because of their diverse species and rapid development. The study took a mixed methods approach, combining qualitative and quantitative research. Data analysis involved SPSS for quantitative data and a non-parametric Chi-Square test for qualitative data. Stakeholders’ perceptions were analyzed using the Likert scale. The results showed that most respondents were unskilled males under 35 years old. Mammals, birds, and reptiles were the most hunted and traded animals, with uncertainty about the present status of many species. Human activities were identified as the main cause of population decline, with trapping being the most common hunting method. The trade of wild animals for food was prevalent, and the awareness of wildlife conservation was low. The study emphasized the need for targeted conservation awareness programs to enhance people’s understanding of the dangers associated with trading and consuming wild animals in the study areas. These findings revealed a bleak future for threatening wild animal populations and highlighted the potential risk of zoonotic disease transmission between animals and humans.