The rare veterinary
botanicals in EkitiState were identified using semi-structured questionnaire
matrix. The traditional ecological knowledge defined by the respondents was
used to identify the relevant conservation strategies that could guaranteed
the continuous supply of the species in the study area.
In Nigeria, recent initiatives had continued to enumerate the
importance of botanicals in the livelihood of her citizenry. Apart from the income� and
essential products derivable from the botanicals, their roles in health
maintenance is now widely recognized. Kayodeet al. (2009) had stressed the
importanceof botanicals in the
maintenance of the health of livestock in Ekiti State, Nigeria.
rapid and massive deforestation that characterized the Nigerian vegetation
has now became a permanent feature of the local environment of Ekiti State, Nigeria Attempts to reduce or perhaps
eliminate bush burning, the major culprit of deforestation in the state, had
failed woefully. The on-going extensive road construction activities further
complicates the threat to the environment.
�It is pertinent therefore to examine the
abundance of the veterinary botanicals, identify the rare species among them
and propose sustainable conservation strategies that would enhance their
availability to the present and future generations. These constitute the
objectives of the study being reported here.
����������� The detail description of the
methods used in the enumeration had been provided by Kayodeet al (2009). The major source(s)
of the species was/were determined. The availability and the relative
abundance of the species in the study area were determined using the ease at
which any of the species could be found when such is required for use.
����������� Secondary information was obtained
from interviews conducted with botanical vendors in the major market centres in each of the zones of the study area and other
key informants stated in Kayodeet al. (2009).
����������� A total of 38 species were
identified as being used for the treatment of pests and diseases in the study
al (2009) had given the description and occurrence of these species, The
species (Table 1) could be grouped into two categories: the cultivated and
not cultivated species (Table 2). The cultivated species could further be classified
into two sub groups, the widely and sparsely cultivated species. The widely
cultivated species were those species with edible fruits and species whose
leaves were valued for their medicinal usage. These species were also valued
as important sources of income most especially during the off-farm seasons.
They include C. frutescens,
C. papaya, C. aurantifolia, M. paradisiacal and
Z.mays, all valued for their fruits, N. tobacum, O. bascilicumand V.
amygdalina, valued for their medicinal leaves, as well as S. officinarumvalued for its edible
stem. The sparsely cultivatedspecies
were A.arabica, A. digitata,
A. indica, S, alataand
S. occidentalevalued primarily for the provision of shade and J. gossypifoliaused primarily for
erosion control and for boundary demarcation. The fact that these species
were cultivated in the study area constituted a favourable
incentive for the cultivation of these species in large quantities. The
production of the edible fruits in large quantities may alleviate the existing
poverty as this would constitute a viable source of income especially during
the off-farm season. Recently the Ekiti State
Government in partnership with some private investors is putting up a
multimillion dollar biofuel production plants that
would be making use Jatrophaspecies. This could further boost the
cultivation of Jatrophain the study area.
����������� Most of the species that were not
cultivated have their wildlings preserved in the study area. The preservation
of their seedlings that grow in the wild was borne out of the realization for
their usefulness as sources of important products that ranged from medicine
(human medicine), shade, boundary demarcation, erosion control and fuel wood.
These species include A.melegueta, B. ferruginea,
F. exasperate, L. siceraria, P. biglobosa,
S. americanum, T. triangulare,
T. schionperiana, T. vogelii,
V. paradoxaand V. doniana.S. americanumand T. triangularewere herbaceous
vegetables that grow abundantly in the study area. The fruits and seeds of P. biglobosaare
important delicacy in the study area. It could therefore constitutes an
important source of income if cultivated in large quantity in the study area
hence they readily availability of market for its seeds could serve as
incentive for the large scale cultivation of the species. Previous study by Kayode (2004) had revealed that the lack of silvicultural knowledge of indigenous species had
constituted an important disincentive to their cultivation. The dormancy of
the seeds of this species had also hindered its adoption for cultivation, by
the rural farmers. Field observation during this study also revealed that the
respondents lacked the requisite knowledge on the silvicuture
of A.melegueta, B. ferruginea,
F. exasperate, T. schionperiana, T. vogelii, V. paradoxaand V. doniana. Considerable
length of time is taken when sourcing for these species hence they
constituted the scarce species among these veterinary species.
����� ��������� A. spinosus,
B. diffusa, C. odorata,
C. owariensis, D. stramonium,
L. camera, M. charanta, P. nigrescensand P. daemiawere also not cultivated in
the study area. They grow naturally as wildlings and they were found
abundantly in the study area while A. cepaand A. sativumthat were equally not cultivated in
commercial quantities in the study area were easily found available for
purchase from the retailers who sourced them from the northern parts of
Nigeria, about 200 to 1000km from the study area. Thus A.melegueta, B. ferruginea, F. exasperate,
L. siceraria, P. biglobosa,
S. americanum, T. schionperiana,
T. vogelii, V. paradoxaand
be regarded as the rare species amongst the identified veterinary botanicals. At present, S. americanum� is not rare but
may be included because of its similar features with the other rare species.
Field observations revealed that most of the residents possessed considerable
indigenous knowledge on the identified rare species (Tables 3-12) which could
serve as enabling strategies toward the conservation of the rare species.
These include the knowledge on their utilities, elementary reproduction
methods, time of flowering and fruiting, type of soil and growth
characteristics of some of the species.
����������� In conclusion, with the increasing
conversion of the existing vegetation in the study area into monoculture plantation
of exotic species and agriculture, there is the likelihood of continuous
erosion of botanical species in the study area. Thus there is the need for
public enlightenment campaign on the danger inherent in biodiversity loss;
the relative regrowth capabilities of the rare
veterinary species should be defined, sustainable harvesting methods should
be derived for the species. While the harvesting of seeds and leaves were not
supposed to be predatory and annihilative, the harvesting of seeds and leaves
in species that were not cultivated could be so described. There is also the
need for detailed studies on the biology of these species. Kayode and Ogunleye (2008), Kayode and Omotoyinbo (2008), Omotoyinbo and Kayode (2008)
had advocated these positions recently. Botanical gardens, where identified
endangered species could be cultivated, should also be established in each
zones of the state. Ex situ devices,
where important rare species are cultivated and later re-introduced into
their natural environment, should also be utilized. All these will guarantee
the survival of the identified rare species and make them available with
relative ease when required.
(2004). Conservation Perception of Endangered Tree Species by Rural Dwellers
of Ekiti State, Nigeria. Journal
of Sustainable Forestry 19(4): 1-9.
Kayode, J.and� Ogunleye,
T. (2008). Checklist and Status of Plant Species Used as Spices in
����������� KadunaState of Nigeria. Research Journal of Botany3(1), 35-40.
Kayode, J.and Omotoyinbo, M. A. (2008). Conservation of
Botanicals Used for Dental and Oral Healthcare in Ekiti State, Nigeria. Ehnobotanical Leaflets 12.
M. A. and Kayode, J.(2008). Checklist and conservation status of chewing stick plant
species in Ekiti
In: Research for Development in
Forestry, Forest Products andNatural
Resources Management (Eds. Onyekwelu, J. C. , Adekunle, V. A. J. and Oke, D.
O. ). Proceedings of the First Conference of Forest
Products Society, Federal University
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Checklist of botanicals species used for the treatment of poultry diseases.Ethnobotanical Leaflets -46.
Table 1.Identified botanicals used in the cure of
veterinary pests and diseases in Ekiti State, Nigeria.
Availability and abundance in the study area