Availability and Nutritional Values of Selected Non Vertebrate Wildlife Species in Niger Delta, Nigeria

Henry M Ijeomah, Ayebanengiyefa L Alagoa, Ann U Ijeomah


The study investigated the sources, availability, and nutritional values of Crab (Callinectes spp); Oyster (Ostrea edulis); Periwinkle (Littorina irrorata); and the Raphia palm weevil larvae (Rhynchophorus phoenicis) in the study area. Bassambiri and Ogbolomabiri in Bayelsa State and Isaka and Okrika Communities of Rivers State were selected at random from other communities in Niger Delta with abundance of these selected species. Data for the study were obtained through administration of structured questionnaire, in-depth-interview and personal observation. A set of questionnaires was administered systematically to 4% of household representatives in the four selected communities. In all, a total of 301 households were sampled in the four communities. Data obtained were analysed using descriptive statistics. The species are harvested manually or with local traps. According to many respondents (54.46%) Crabs are more abundant in the rainy season while the Oyster, Periwinkle and Edible maggot are more abundant during the dry season. Although Periwinkle, Oyster, Crab and Raphia palm weevil larvae contain Sodium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium and Iron, Crab is relatively the best source of Calcium among the species, while Oyster is the least since the shells are entirely removed during extraction. Harvesting of these species is done by most members of households. Boiling is the most preferred method for processing these species because it makes them tasty (64.03%). However, majority (83.33%) of respondents from Ogbolomabiri community in Bayelsa State prefer smoking the species because it increases their shelf life. These non-vertebrate wildlife species are of utmost importance to the rural people of the Niger Delta thus their decline and depletion subsequently could result in loss of income, malnourishment and overall poverty.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/enrr.v3n2p10

Environment and Natural Resources Research   ISSN 1927-0488 (Print)   ISSN 1927-0496 (Online)

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