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Bushmen and herpetofauna: notes on amphibians and reptiles traded in bush-meat markets of local people in the Niger delta (Port Harcourt, Rivers state, Nigeria)

Godfrey C. AKANI, Luca LUISELLI, Francesco M. ANGELICI & Edoardo POLITANO

en Anthropozoologica 27 - Pages 21-26

Published on 01 December 1998

Observations are reported on the amphibians and reptiles traded in local bush-meat markets amongst the tribes of the Niger delta, south-eastern Nigeria. In all, eighteen species were recorded, of which four were amphibians and fourteen were reptiles. Some species were traded for their skins or for animistic cult purposes, but in most cases they were traded as food. In fact, wildlife represents the main source of protein for the support of rapid local population growth in fragile and poor environments. Some of the traded species are vulnerable or even threatened, not only at the local level of the Niger delta region but also at a more general, continental level. Among these vulnerable taxa may be noted Conraua goliath, Crocodylus niloticus, C. cataphractus and Osteolaemus tetraspis.

Keywords :

Herpetofauna, Ethnology, Bush-meat markets, Niger Delta, Rivers State, Nigeria.

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