Survey of mammalian wildlife species in the Stubbs Creek Reserve, Akwa Ibom State Nigeria. – U. U. Udofia, A. Nkang and V. O. Inwang
An ecological survey of the mammalian wildlife species was carried out in the Stubbs Creek Forest Reserve, Akwa Ibom State. Stubbs Creek Forest is part of the Cross-Niger Transition Forest eco-region as defined by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The conservation status of the region is rated as critical/endangered. The Stubbs Creek forest harbors several rare or threatened species particularly the sclater‟s or Nigerian guenon (Cercopithecus sclateri) whicn is endemic in Southern Nigeria, and the African grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus). It is feared that intense human activities and pressure over the years in the area may be causing increased degradation and fragmentation of the forest and a consequent reduction and/or extinction of its large wildlife population. This study was carried out to ascertain the current status of the mammalian wildlife species and consequently raise levels of conservation awareness in the area. The survey involved observatory sampling technique including indirect observation and participatory Rural Appraisal involving market surveys, interviews and use of formatted questionnaires. The study revealed that mammalian wildlife such as sclater‟s guenon, putty-nosed monkey, grasscutter, porcupine, ground squirrel, bush pig, fruits bat, ottershrew, sitatunga, civet, blue duicker, pottos and rabbit are still present while elephant, gorilla and lion might be extinct. Logging, farming, hunting, and oil and gas exploration activities are some potential threats to the reserve. The need to evolve unified and effective strategies and policies for the conservation and management of threatened species and the Stubbs Creek ecosystem is discussed.