Article Number: DRJAFS11832443
DOI: https://doi.org/10.26765/DRJAFS11832443
ISSN: 2354-4147

Vol. 10(5), Pp. 119-125, May 2022

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Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0.


Original Research Article

Threats and Conservation Strategies of Pygmy Hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensis) in Tiwai Island, Sierra Leone

Janet Bonyah Saidu

Adewumi Abraham Adebayo

Udo Albert Jeremiah

Lameed Gbolagade Akeem


Abstract

The pygmy hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensis) is one of the rarest animals to be found in and around Tiwai Island in Sierra Leone. An assessment of species’ threats and causes is important to establish a robust baseline for future conservation efforts. There is insufficient information on the threats to C. liberiensisin and around Tiwai island, hence, this study. The study was conducted at Tiwai Island edge communities, South-Eastern Sierra Leone; seven communities (Mapoma, Segbema, Geima, Kabama, Jenneh, Nyanahun, and Booma) on both sides of the island were purposively sampled based on the objectives of the study. The data were obtained using a structured questionnaire, oral interview, and reconnaissance surveys. The level of impact of poaching, habitat loss and fragmentation, climate change, and illegal wildlife trade was high, human-wildlife conflict was moderate and natural predator was low. Urbanization, poverty, agricultural expansion, lack of adequate legislation to prohibit illegal trading, greed, lack of proper funding, diverse demand and usage, were all identified to be the causes of the threats in and around the study area. Additionally, habitat loss and fragmentation were identified to be the primary threats to the quality, extent and continuity of habitat in pygmy hippopotamus range in and around Tiwai Island. Likewise, some of the food items consumed by the species are been competitive with human utilizations. Thus, conservation education programs about C. liberiensis and other remarkable wildlife species should be carried out in communities in and around Tiwai Island. Furthermore, community farmers should be warned from clearing of water catchment areas, forests, plantations, and swamps edges as these are areas plants are wildly grown that served as food preferences for pygmy hippos.


Keywords: C. liberiensis, Endangered Species, Tiwai Island, Wildlife threats, Wildlife conservation


 Received: March 21, 2022  Accepted: April 24, 2022  Published: May 9, 2022


Copyright © 2022 Direct Research Journal of Agriculture and Food Science