Abstract # 165:

Scheduled for Friday, August 18, 2006 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 17 (Regency West 1/3 ) Poster Presentation

The Bagale Hills Forest Reserve of Nigeria: Focus on Human-Wildlife Conflict

J. Wallis
ABTI-American University of Nigeria, PMB 2250, Lamido Zubairu Way, Yola, Nigeria
     The east-northeastern portion of Nigeria is characterized by expansive open savanna plains, interspersed with woodlands and occasional hills produced by volcanic episodes. One such region is the Bagale Hills “Forest” Reserve. Bagale, comprised of volcanic rock formations surrounding a relatively flat woodland interior, is home to baboons (Papio hamadryas anubis or P. anubis), vervets (Chlorocebus aethiops tantalus), and patas (Erythrocebus patas). By far the most numerous are the baboons, though their long-term survival is uncertain. Several forms of potential human-wildlife conflict create considerable pressure on the primates of Bagale, most notably that of bushmeat hunting. Moreover, farm crops are planted up to the edge of the rock formations; the inevitable crop-raiding by monkeys puts them at risk of being trapped or poisoned. Villagers regularly enter the area for firewood, grasses, and medicinal plant collection, thus depleting natural resources. Finally, local pastoralists graze cattle, sheep, and goats inside the Bagale Hills, creating an opportunity for disease transmission between livestock and wildlife. The newly established ABTI-American University of Nigeria in nearby Yola has developed a division in Natural & Environmental Science, with a focus on conservation. Initial fieldwork for the program is centered on the Bagale Hills. This poster provides detailed maps of the area, population estimates of the primate inhabitants, and preliminary data of our studies in behavioral ecology and health assessment of the Bagale baboons.