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Wildlife Conservation in Africa: A Scientific Approach

Wildlife Conservation in Africa: A Scientific Approach

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Wildlife Conservation in Africa: A Scientific Approach

528 Seiten
4 Stunden
May 24, 2019


Wildlife Conservation in Africa: A Scientific Approach presents comprehensive management strategies for the consumptive and non-consumptive utilization of wildlife across Sub-Saharan Africa. It describes African economies that are currently dependent on wildlife resources and prescribes strategies for conserving biodiversity in both forests and animals in ecosystems across the continent. The book covers the history and current status of how Africa’s culture, traditions, healthcare and food sources are woven intricately around the local wildlife and resources. It is a necessary resource for researchers and practitioners in wildlife and ecological conservation, but is also useful for administrators and managers of protected areas.

  • Written by the world’s leading expert on African wildlife conservation
  • Uses over 45 years of research and knowledge on the topic
  • Provides a detailed categorization of conservation areas across Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Covers both in-situ and ex-situ conservation methods for wildlife
May 24, 2019

Über den Autor

Dr S.S. Ajayi joined the University of Ibadan as an assistant Training Fellow in Wildlife and Range Management at the Department of Forestry in 1968. He moved up the academic ladder after his doctoral training, and in 1980, Dr Ajayi became a Professor of Wildlife Conservation at the University of Ibadan. He created the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Management with separate degree program in Wildlife and Fisheries Management and became the Pioneer Head of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Management at the University of Ibadan from 1981 to 1988. He was also the Pioneer Dean for the College of Environmental Resources Management at the University of Agriculture in Abeokuta. Dr Ajayi was team leader of an expert group, which produced the Action Plan for Conservation of renewable natural resources in Nigeria. He was also project leader at the National Science and Technology Development Agency of a research project on studies dealing with the domestication and control of wildlife species and their importance in food production and public health. He was Chairman of the Publicity Sub-Committee of the National Wildlife Conservation Committee and Chairman of the Committee of Wildlife Specialists on the Development of Lake Kainji National Park. Dr Ajayi is the first Emeritus Professor of Wildlife Ecology in Africa, and also holds the title of United Nations Scholar in Wildlife Conservation and Management. His work has emphasized the need to bring the rural population into development policy process by incorporating them into wildlife management institutions and mechanisms, so that they can derive a sense of ownership and thus develop a collective interest in wildlife conservation and environmental sustainability.

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Wildlife Conservation in Africa - S.S. Ajayi


Part 1


Chapter 1



In search for the true meaning of conservation as a prelude to the contents of this book, there are three meanings of the word as follows:

Macmillan Encyclopedia defined conservation as the rational use of the earth’s resources so that life can be sustained indefinitely.

The Tropical Forest Ecosystems by UNESCO (1978) defined conservation as the utilization of resources, that is, a sustainable utilization of resources, resting on ecological principles and therefore including agricultural, forestry, and pastoral development.

The definition of conservation by Gabrielson (1970) is as follows: In the broadest social aspects, conservation of organic resources, means restoring to the highest possible level and maintaining at a state of high productivity, those resources, including wildlife that can be used on a crop basis to sustain human society.

The three definitions of conservation above recognize the fact that man disrupts the balance and harmony of nature by his activities and that conservation is a security activity that minimizes uncertainties, disruptions, and extraction of life-forms. These definitions are the basic philosophies of ecological principles of the management of wildlife for posterity.


Conservation; Wildlife; Definition

What is conservation?

The science of wildlife conservation is of a relatively recent origin. As a pioneer, the objective of this book is to unfold the potential and significance of wildlife in the economies of African countries. It also presents the problems of wildlife conservation, principles, and scientific approach to wildlife conservation in sub-Saharan Africa. Since this book dwells on conservation as a scientific tool for maintenance and utilization of wildlife in perspective, it may be instructive to familiarize readers with this key word for two main reasons. First, there has been some confusion over the use of the word, and secondly, there is the lack of realization that in fact all forms of national development itself are based on conservation.

In the search for the true meaning of conservation, there are three definitions that I find acceptable in terms of theory and application to renewable natural resources and that foster the purpose of integrated multiple land use. The first definition is culled from Macmillan Encyclopedia Dictionary as follows:

The rational use of the earth’s resources so that life can be sustained indefinitely.

The second definition is from Tropical Forest Ecosystems by UNESCO (1978), and it states as follows:

The utilization of resources, that is, a sustainable utilization, resting on ecological principles, and therefore including agricultural, forestry or pastoral development.

The last definition is that of Gabrielson (1970):

In its broadest social aspects, conservation of organic resources means restoring to the highest possible level and maintaining at a state of high productivity, those resources, including wildlife, that can be used on a crop basis to sustain human society.

In the above definitions, there is an explicit recognition that man disturbs the fundamental harmony and balance of nature by his activities. Throughout the history of land development all over the world, man at some critical moments resulting from disruption evolves an effort to ensure his security. Conservation would therefore appear to be a security-ensuring activity that often minimizes uncertainties in the provision of our basic necessities of life resulting from man’s destructive activities. These definitions are, therefore, based on the ecological philosophy of conservation.

One of the basic concepts of ecological principles of conservation, whether we are fishermen or wildlifers or miners, is the fact that no natural resource is inexhaustible. The wildlife of the forests, the fish of our rivers, and the minerals in the ground if exploited indiscriminately would be exhausted. There would be a time when they will be no more! The recognition of this basic fact leads to the concept of preservation as the first step in conservation. If the resource base is not preserved, there would be nothing to utilize or manage.

Conservation movements in America started as a result of the land use mismanagement that characterized the early settlement of the continent. This phenomenon naturally led to a threat of scarcity of available natural resources, the existence of the United States as a nation, as well as the destruction of various facets of nature’s beauty. Furthermore, it led to the emergence of two basic conservation philosophies early in the 20th century. One group of conservationists promoted preservation or nonuse, while the other promoted natural resource development or rational use (Gabrielson, 1970).

In the history of the United States, the first conscious effort to effect a change in the area of natural resource management was by a German-trained forester named Gifford Pinchot, the man generally recognized as the father of conservation movement in America. Pinchot’s principle of conservation connoted use through systematic management. He was opposed to established forest reserves that were preserved and not used. He believed that it is only when a forest is preserved and used under a systematic form of management based on sound ecological principles that the forest is conserved. Indeed, the term conservancies, as it applied to government forests in India in those days, appealed to Pinchot so much that he used conservation to describe his public campaigns for forestry and other natural resource sector in 1907. Thus, the evolution of conservation that started basically as mere preservation of the environment crept gradually to include rational use by man.

This brief historical perspective has been cited to show two things: first is that the two principles of preservation and conservation were born to protect the American nation’s declining resources. Secondly, the concept and principles that led to the philosophy of conservation were agrarian and purely ecological.

From this point, the metamorphosis of conservation principles took a new turn. It accepted development as part of man’s culture and made it to represent the second environment or frontier in conservation. For the purpose of this book, it is assumed that the agrarian ecological factors such as land, forest, wildlife, and fish belong to the horizontal plane of frontier of conservation. On the vertical plane, we have the new environment of developmental factors such as economic development, science, technology, and research as they affect the land and the welfare of man. The problems that are associated with the feedback of various forms of cultural development, be it economic, research, or technology, are so real that these later planes affect the welfare of man, thus become an integral part of the principles of conservation.

One fact that is partly responsible for America’s success in various forms of development was that they recognized the principles of what goes up must come down, that is, for all forms of development, land and its resources are the ultimate recipients and therefore must be tuned to carry the load eventually. They have endeavored to ensure that land resources would carry development without disharmony among these resources themselves or between the resources and man.

Take industrial development as an example. Most industries are associated with industrial wastes. It is not enough to campaign for industrial development and create a favorable economic atmosphere for investors, without thinking about the wastes associated with such developments. How are these wastes associated with such developments? How are these wastes tolerated by man, animals, and plants? What damages do they cause, and how can these be minimized or eliminated? The need for a reconciliation of the concepts of development was tightly noted by Fisher (1968):

We shall have to explain the natural environment and its several parts more comprehensively and systematically, looking further ahead, and paying more attention to the interrelations between that environment on one hand and the cultural environment of research, technology, economic development and human welfare on the other hand. The problems call for solutions now.

This concept is in consonance with the fact that development carries with it two environments of conservation—the natural and the cultural—and the problems associated with them must be reconciled. In the developing countries of Africa, we cannot afford to ignore these two frontiers of conservation.

It must be stated that any developing country has more to learn about conservation principles and practice, specific details of legislations, campaigns, government, and private involvement in conservation from the United States more than any other country worldwide.

Furthermore, it must be stressed that one of the basic principles of conservation is preservation and that preservation is not synonymous with conservation, but the first step toward conservation. It is also assumed that the concept of two frontiers of conservation is clear, that is, the natural (ecological) and the cultural environment (science, technology, and economic development).

It is perhaps pertinent to point out that there are numerous references in the Bible such that make conservation an integral phenomenon to our physical and spiritual lives. The most striking reference to conservation of renewable natural resources is found in Genesis 7:2–3. Here, the very principle of conservation was laid down by God Himself, and Noah was the first to practice it. It reads

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