Wild Nigeria and its inhabitants

I just have worked on a paper about poorly-known dwellers from the African continent. Reading it will have drawn a short while. All the best with your research. Thank you for working for mammalian ecology and conservation.

We hypothetically travel to the remote Jos Plateau in the central part of this country. The voyage is a pioneer project for study of rare carnivores, afrotheria or monkeys. Those are symbolic unicorns of zoology, so the inventory of them is part of assessment of biodiversity. This important job is the search of enigmatic creatures, which harbor territory. Animals, which we looking for are mammalian predators: side-striped jackal, ratel, hausa genet and serval, representants of living fossil: aardvark, ruminants i.e species of duiker, hartebeest, and other animals such as tree pangolin. Some research is needed to elucidate the populations of primates i.e. tantalus monkey, and rodentia: endemic rats and ground squirrel.

Those are poorly-studied mammals that occur in this vast land. We can use camera traps and drones for non-invasive studies. It is sort of science fiction research, but it can be a real-life adventure in the name of conservation. On the basis of the camera trapping technique we can calculate occupancy and presence-absence of peculiar theriofauna and further studies for those creatures are kindly appreciated. We recommend unique species-specific study of organisms such as Canis adustus or Chlorocebus sp. and Cephalophus rufilatus. Please take note that science fiction visionary could help with saving this problematic fauna for future generations as well as help in understanding their populations.

Further work will look like the adventures of Indiana Jones and could be lifetime experiences in remote territories. We can imagine it as science fiction, but it could be a real-life job for academicians. This inspiring job could be a partnership of European university and NGO as well as indigenous association of zoology. We would discover new powers of nature, plateau-dwellers and so on. The scientists can use Skoda yeti for their never-ending trips to the wild and research can be shared with publica. Ahead, there can be an aerial view of this unique plateau from a helicopter- its some bright thoughts.

It is an insight into understanding importance of zoology and undertaking another step to conservation of nature. Results perhaps will be presented during a conservatiation workshop in the small center for natural history. There is an archive and new hall of stuffed animals, rare menagerie of living beings colleceted by former european colonialism. Innovative project could be implemented in and around plateau to estimate carnivore populations and their ecology with emphasis on side-striped jackal and genets. Carnivore census could be implemented in the territory after all. Let routine be our advantage in the story of scientific exploration in archaic-looking wilderness. Milestones in pioneer studies could be impuls for saving the ecosystem and cryptic populations.

Some short camera trapping surveys are needed for further understanding of populations of carnivores, ungulates and rodents in Old Oyo National Park, located across two states of West Nigeria. MSc student will have been engaged with project focused on ecology of such wildlife assemblage as bushbuck, kob, grasscutter, savanna hare, pangolin species or side-striped jackal and gambian mongoose. Many larger animals are absent in the territory, but some interesting ones remain. The park in the south part is guinea forest and towards the north has changing to savanna. Area is mostly lowland plains, but in the central part there are scattered hills. Innovative project can be realized during one year for informational purposes, with the use of small vehicles, such as motorbikes. It would be truly appreciated, investigating this territory in the dimension of zoological inventory.

I would be interested in further filling the gaps in knowledge by my own short-time research on the carnivora of Nigeria and wildlife inventory in western part of Black Continent. Kind regards and enjoy your life.

Posted by biologist and author Tomasz Pietrzak (@echlleaguescientific). Published in Poland/EU. Available due to Creative Commons. Article is a work of tribute to scientific exploration and conservation of nature.