6. The Kamuku National Park is located in Birnin Gwari, Kaduna State, North West Nigeria. It has a typical savanna woodland vegetation and a wide variety of birds and other animals like elephants, antelopes, oribi, waterbuck, wet cat, green monkey, side stripped hyena and jackal. The Park is also home to the secretary bird (Sagittarius serpentarius), denhams bustard (Neotis denhami) and abyssinian ground hornbill (Bucorvus abyssinicus).

There is also a large population of duiker, which are commonly sighted in the park along with 177 documented species of birds (both residents and inter African migrants) and several species of reptiles. Other animals include buffalo, bubal hartebeest, anubis baboon, tantalus monkey, lion, leopard, hippopotamus, roan antelope, kob and warthog, etc.

Dominant tree species of the park include Isoberlinia dokaTerminalia avicennioides and Detarium macrocarpum. Also common are Danellia oliveriNauclea latifoliaAcacia spp.Lophira l& anceolataParkia biglobosaProsopis africana and Isoberlinia tomentosa. The oil palm tree (Elaeis guineensis) is common in the forest areas that line small, seasonal rivers. Together with the forest reserves in this area, the park represents one of the best remaining blocks of Sudan-Guinea Savanna vegetation in the country’s protected-area system.

7. The Yankari National Park is located in Bauchi state, North East Nigeria. It has the characteristic savanna vegetation, including swamps in river floodplains, grasslands, and thick bush. Yankari is rich in animal life, with antelopes (roan, waterbuckbushbuck, and hartebeest), elephants, hippopotamuses, giraffes, baboons, hyenas, lions, leopards, and crocodiles.

8. The Okomu Forest Reserve is located in Ovia South Local Government Area, Edo State, South South Nigeria. It plays host to lowland rich rain forests (which includes areas of swamp-forest, high forest, secondary forest, and open scrub) and is the habitat for many endangered species including forest elephants, buffaloes, red river hogs, chimpanzees, leopards, bush baby, putty nosed guenon, porcupine, pangolins, duikers, antelopes etc. The white throated monkey, which is one of the rarest monkeys in the world today, is found at this Forest Reserve as well.

It is also home to over 700 different butterfly species, over 200 species of birds which include Angolan pitta, grey parrot, wrinkled hornbill, fish eagle, hawk, woodpecker, great owl, grey hornbill, cattle egret, black-casqued hornbill, yellow-casqued hornbill, sabine’s spinetail, cassin’s spinetail and black spinetail. Other species include the white-breasted negrofinch, chestnut-breasted negrofinch, pale-fronted negrofinch and yellow-throated cuckoo.

Common trees are kapok, celtis zenkeri, triplochiton scleroxylon, antiaris africana, pycnanthus angolensis, alstonia congoensis etc. The park has two treehouses, one of which is about 140 feet high in a silk-cotton tree. The treehouse is the most intriguing feature anyone is likely to see in the park.

9. The Jos Wildlife Park is located in North Central Nigeria as an amalgamation of the Pandam Wildlife Park in Qua’an Pan, the Wase Rock Gamers Reserve, the Pai River Games Reserve and the Bokolo Forest Reserve. It is relatively, small, about 8 km2, but stretches from the scenic city of Jos, Plateau State to Benue State. The Park hosts several wooded hills and forest streams which are ideal spots for various types of animals ranging from the herbivorous to carnivorous, primates, reptiles and birds. Some of the herbivorous animals there are cattle, elephants, eland, pigmy hippos, buffalos and gazelles. The carnivorous animals include lions, hyenas, crocodiles, jackals, honey badger, desert tortoise, water turtle and rock python among others. The Park also boasts of birds like crowned crane, ostrich, white headed vulture, hooded vulture and geese among others. The primates include baboons, chimpanzees and monkeys of different species.

10. Kainji Lake National Park is located on the border between Niger and Kebbi states, in North West Nigeria and contains the Borgu and Zugurma game reserves. This Park is rich in wildlife, including baboons, duikers, hippopotamuses, hyenas, kobs, roans, and warthogs. There are 65 mammal species, 350 species of birds, and 30 species of reptiles and amphibians recorded in the park. These include lionleopardcaracalelephant and African manatee, numerous species of antelopehippopotamusAfrican wild doghoney badgercheetahSenegal bushbaby, many species of monkey, and African clawless otter. Reptiles include the Nile crocodileWest African slender-snouted crocodile, four turtle species, Nile monitorsavannah monitor, other lizards and snakes, and 12 amphibian species. There are 82 species of fish in Lake Kainji.

Its savanna woodland in the Borgu area is dominated by Burkea africanaTerminalia avicennioides and Detarium microcarpum. Below the quartzite ridges Isoberlinia tomentosa predominates, and further down the hillsides on the relatively dry lower slopes are stands of Diospyros mespiliformis, with an understory of Polysphaeria orbusculaTerminalia macroptera occurs on moist savannas and Isoberlinia doka is found on higher ground in ironstone areas. In its Zugurma area, the tree cover is typical of the Guinean forest-savanna mosaic. Common trees here include Afzelia africanaDaniella oliveriPterocarpus erinaceusTerminalia schimperianaParkia clappertonianaVitellaria paradoxaDetarium microcarpumIsoberlinia dokaUapaca togoensis and Khaya senegalensis.

The Importance of Wildlife

Wildlife plays a very important role in balancing our environment. It provides stability to different processes of nature. It also maintains the ecological balance of the surface of the earth. Wildlife is also important for its aesthetic value. According to Brainly, an online social science learning site, the importance of wildlife can be categorized as ecological, economic, investigatory importance, and the conservation of biological diversities.

1. Ecological importance. Wildlife helps in maintaining the balance of nature. When we kill the carnivores, it leads to an increase in the number of herbivores which in turn affects the forest vegetation. Thus, due to lack of food in the forest, the herbivores will come out to farmlands and destroy our crops. Therefore, once the equilibrium is disturbed, it leads to many problems.

2. Economic importance. The wild life can be used to earn income. Wild plant products like food, medicine, timber, fibres, etc, are of economic value and the wild animal products such as meat, medicines, hide, ivory, lac, silk, etc, are of tremendous economic value.

3. Investigatory importance. Some wild organisms are used for scientific experiments such as to test the efficacy of medical products. Generally, monkey, chimpanzee, rabbits, mice, guinea pigs, etc, are used for scientific experiments.

4. Conservation of biological diversities. By conserving wildlife, diversity in the environment can be preserved. According to some scientists, an ecosystem with more diversity is more stable.

5. As a gene bank. Group of genes of a population of any particular area is called a Gene Bank. To produce disease resistant variety diversity, a gene bank is necessary.

6. Recreation. A visit to the parks and sanctuaries is an enjoyable proposition for children as well as adults. Thus, wildlife is one of the best means of recreation.

7. Cultural importance. Wildlife has rooted effects on religion, art, sculpture and literature. Many mythological stories and children’s stories are based on wildlife.

8. Importance in agriculture. Wild organisms are very important for modern agriculture. They are significant in the production of new hybrid species using wild plants; the production of better hybrid variety of animals used for agriculture using wild animals; and new species of plants and animals can be produced by them.

We have to celebrate the role of wildlife in sustaining life on planet Earth and join the global advocacy to preserve them.