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Nigeria is home to rare and unusual animals as well as a diverse patchwork of landscapes.

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Nigeria

Land

  • Quick Facts:

    Area

    92,376,800 hectares (923,768 sq. km.)(356,668 sq. mi.)

  • Key Landmarks

    Gurara Falls
    Owu Falls
    Zuma Rock

  • Wildlife

    baboons, blue duiker, bushbuck, African buffalo, pangolin, elephant, lion

  • Primary Ecosystems

    montane grasslands, savannas, rainforests

  • Population

    190,886,311 (2017)

    Tags: Nigeria, African Buffalo, Baboon, Buffalo, Bushbuck, Duiker, Elephant, Lion, Pangolin

Overview

Nigeria is home to a wealth of biodiversity within its seven national parks.

Nigeria lies on the western part of Africa on the Gulf of Guinea. It contains several large urban centers like the capital city Abuja and is one of sub-Saharan Africa’s largest economies, relying heavily on oil as its main source of foreign exchange earnings.

Despite its wealth of oil, the country faces significant problems with wealth disparity, inadequate power supply, lack of infrastructure, and an inconsistent regulatory environment such as judicial enforcement of national park legislation.

There are seven national parks in Nigeria — Chad Basin, Cross River, Gashaka Gumti, Kainji, Kamuku, Old Oyo, and Okomu National Parks — all of which are ecologically and culturally important where illegal hunting and human settlements are prohibited if enforced.

Challenges

Poorly managed parks lead to the downfall of wildlife.

Despite policies and strategies aimed to protect and prevent further decline of Nigeria’s biodiversity, species continue to decline.

Inadequate funding is one of the major impediments to conservation in Nigeria’s national parks. Poor management of funds paired with corruptions leaves funding misallocated, meaning patrol vehicles and tracks are poorly maintained and rangers are equipped with low-quality tools.

Corruption has also been reported, ranging from bribery and collusion with poachers, hunters, grazers, and loggers by rangers. In addition to these threats, poor judicial enforcement of the park’s legislation makes efforts to stop illegal hunting of wildlife within park borders almost futile.

Solutions

Our solutions to protecting Nigeria's unique biodiversity:

  • National parks are the key to wildlife conservation in Nigeria.

    African Wildlife Foundation is currently working with the Nigerian National Parks Service as a consultant to restructure and reposition the park’s potential ecotourism opportunities.

    AWF will develop a detailed analysis of the conservation context, management structures, and corporate structures for each protected area to create a business plan aimed at the long-term sustainability of each park. Ultimately, the consultancy will highlight areas that need improvement to better protect the biodiversity of wildlife in Nigeria.

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Join African Wildlife Foundation as a member for just $25. Your partnership is vital to our mission to protect Africa’s most precious - and imperiled - creatures.

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