Implications of Ebola virus disease on wildlife conservation in Nigeria.

The Pan African medical journal

PubMedID: 26740844

Egbetade AO, Sonibare AO, Meseko CA, Jayeola OA, Otesile EB. Implications of Ebola virus disease on wildlife conservation in Nigeria. Pan Afr Med J. 2015;22 Suppl 116.
The recent Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in some West African countries spanning from late 2013 and currently on as of 13th March, 2015 is the most widespread and fatal with human mortality that has surpassed all previous outbreaks. The outbreak has had its toll on conservation of endangered species. This portends danger for the wild fauna of the country if proactive measures are not taken to prepare grounds for evidence- based assertions concerning the involvement of wild species. To this end, there is an urgent need for sweeping census of reserves, national parks and wetlands. As well as the creation of a system involving reportage by sectors like the industries (extractive and construction) including persons and organisations involved with wildlife related activities. This documentation of die offs and unusual events to collaborating institutions, will help in monitoring trends which hitherto would have gone unnoticed. The importance of bats and primates in agriculture and public health via consumption of vermin insects and seed dispersal cannot be over-emphasized. There is the need for caution on the tendencies to destroy indicator species which could be silent pointers to emerging or remerging health and environmental issues. Wildlife resources are still reliably useful and caution is advised in the use of blanket destructive policies like fumigation of caves, indiscriminate culling and poisoned baits to destroy supposedly Ebola Disease Virus wildlife reservoirs. This paper highlights the immediate conservation problems and likely future implications of Ebola saga in Nigeria. It tries to identify the gaps in wildlife researches and makes recommendations for probable workable conservation strategies.