Israel O.O. Osunsina, PhD, Associate Professor of Wildlife Extension and Management at Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management, Federal University of Agriculture (Abeokuta, Nigeria); iD ORCID:; e-mail:
Olujide Osunsina, Lecturer III, Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, P.M.B. (2273 Afaka, Kaduna State, Nigeria); iD ORCID:; e-mail:
Adekunle A. Ogunjinmi, PhD, Professor of Wildlife Extension and Ecotourism Management at Department of Ecotourism and Wildlife Management, Federal University of Technology (Akure, Nigeria); iD ORCID:; e-mail:
Oladapo O. Oduntan, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta PMB (2240, Ogun State, Nigeria); iD ORCID:; e-mail:
Muideen A. Yisau, PhD, Lecturer I, Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta PMB (2240, Ogun State, Nigeria); iD ORCID:; e-mail:
Mathias O. Umunna, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Federal College of Wildlife Management, PMB (268, New Bussa, Niger State, Nigeria); iD ORCID:; e-mail:

Reference to article

Osunsina I.O.O., Osunsina O., Ogunjinmi A.A., Oduntan O.O., Yisau M.A., Umunna M.O. 2023. Biodiversity conservation and rural development: inseparable options for Protected Area management. A case study of four Nigerian national parks. Nature Conservation Research 8(1): 84–95.

Section Research articles

The establishment and management of Protected Areas have become the cornerstones of biodiversity conservation strategies. However, efforts aimed to manage these areas have paid little or no attention to livelihoods and needs of the surrounding communities. Therefore, this study assesses the socio-economic predictors of the local people's needs and also establishes the link between biodiversity conservation and rural development. A survey of villages around four Nigerian national parks has been carried out to determine available infrastructural facilities, the facilities mostly desired by villagers and the socio-economic predictors of the local people's needs and their dependence on the national park resources. The selection of the study areas was performed through multi-stage random sampling, with a focus on villages within a 10-km radius of each national park boundaries. Primary data were collected from 1500 respondents in 106 local communities around four national parks, i.e. 22 around the Cross River National Park (CRNP), 22 around the Gashaka Gumti National Park (GGNP), 27 around the Kainji Lake National Park (KLNP), and 35 around the Old Oyo National Park (OONP). The collected data were analysed and presented descriptively, while logistic regression was used to identify the socio-demographic predictors of needs by local people. Results of the demographic characteristics show that there were more male respondents interviewed (73.2%) than female respondents (26.8%) in all four national parks. In all the four studied national parks, farming has a predominant occupation: CRNP (99.3%), GGNP (93.9%), KLNP (90.5%), and OONP (85.2%). The major number of respondents is married: CRNP (77.0%), GGNP (70.0%), KLNP (84.4%), and OONP (79.6%), and is within the age group of 15–25 years: CRNP (43.0%), GGNP (30.0%), KLNP (36.2%) and OONP (25.2%). All of the respondents interviewed in CRNP were Christians (100%), while the majority of respondents in GGNP (87.3%), KLNP (99.2%), and OONP (53.1%) were Muslims. In terms of educational qualifications, there was a high level of illiteracy among the people living around the studied national parks as most of the respondents in CRNP had primary (45.3%) and secondary education (32.7%). However, for the other three national parks, we demonstrated a higher percentage of non-formal education: GGNP (61.5%), KLNP (63.1%) and OONP (68.1%). The obtained results show that the study area is characterised by a lack of infrastructures, such as roads (96.4%), electricity (97.7%) and limited provision of service, such as medicine (91.1%), potable water (96.5%), and education services (86.6%). The majority of the interviewed respondents in communities around the national parks indicated the provision of health care centres (78.5%), boreholes/portable water (77.7%), roads (68.6%), the establishment of schools (59.7%) and employment (56.2%). Our results show that the communities' expectation was for basic infrastructures, such as the provision of potable water (77.5%), health care centres (78.5%), electricity (78.1%), and roads (68.9%). The logistic regression analysis indicated that the predictors of the respondents' infrastructural needs were gender (β = 0.068, p < 0.01), age (β = 0.032, p < 0.01), and education level (β = 0.047, p < 0.05). The study concludes that there is a need for the federal, state and local governments to provide the basic infrastructures in villages surrounding the studied national parks to reduce the pressure and over-dependence of the local people on the national park resources. The literacy campaign and conservation education should be taken to the grass-root because the majority of the local people are illiterates and live around biodiversity hotspots.


attitude, biodiversity, infrastructure, local people, needs, Protected Area

Artice information

Received: 18.03.2022. Revised: 20.09.2022. Accepted: 11.10.2022.

The full text of the article

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