Ethnobotanical Leaflets 13: 739-51. 2009.
Medicobotanical Studies in Relation to Veterinary Medicine in Ekiti State, Nigeria: Conservation of Botanical Species Used for the Treatment of Poultry Diseases
J. Kayode, M. K. Olanipekun and P. O. Tedela
Department of Plant Science, University of Ado-Ekiti, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria
Issued 01 June 2009
The rare veterinary botanicals in Ekiti State 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. Kayode et al. (2009) had stressed the importance of botanicals in the maintenance of the health of livestock in Ekiti State, Nigeria.
The 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.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
The detail description of the methods used in the enumeration had been provided by Kayode et 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 Kayode et al. (2009).
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
A total of 38 species were identified as being used for the treatment of pests and diseases in the study area. Kayode et 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. bascilicum and V. amygdalina, valued for their medicinal leaves, as well as S. officinarum valued for its edible stem. The sparsely cultivated species were A.arabica, A. digitata, A. indica, S, alata and S. occidentale valued primarily for the provision of shade and J. gossypifolia used 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 Jatropha species. This could further boost the cultivation of Jatropha in 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. paradoxa and V. doniana. S. americanum and T. triangulare were herbaceous vegetables that grow abundantly in the study area. The fruits and seeds of P. biglobosa are 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. paradoxa and 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. nigrescens and P. daemia were also not cultivated in the study area. They grow naturally as wildlings and they were found abundantly in the study area while A. cepa and A. sativum that 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. paradoxa and V. doniana could 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.
Kayode, J. (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
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Kayode, J. and Omotoyinbo, M. A. (2008). Conservation of Botanicals Used for Dental and Oral Healthcare in Ekiti State, Nigeria. Ehnobotanical Leaflets 12.
Omotoyinbo, M. A. and Kayode, J. (2008). Checklist and conservation status of chewing stick plant species in Ekiti State, Nigeria. In: Research for Development in Forestry, Forest Products and Natural Resources Management (Eds. Onyekwelu, J. C. , Adekunle, V. A. J. and Oke, D. O. ). Proceedings of the First Conference of Forest and Forest Products Society, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria. 16th – 18th April 2008. pp 27-33.
Kayode, J, Olanipekun, M. K. and Tedela, P. O. (2009). Medicobotanical studies in relation to veterinary medicine in Ekiti State, Nigeria: Checklist of botanicals species used for the treatment of poultry diseases.Ethnobotanical Leaflets 13: 40-46.
Table 1.Identified botanicals used in the cure of veterinary pests and diseases in Ekiti State, Nigeria.
* 1 = Primary source, 2 =Secondary source, 3 =Tertiary source
CA = Common area, FR = Forest, HA = Household area, HF = Household farm, PH = Purchased
Table 2. Status of the identified botanicals used for the cure of veterinary pests and diseases in Ekiti State, Nigeria.
Table 3. The potentials of the respondents’ indigenous ecological knowledge on the conservation of A. meleguata.
Table 4. The potentials of the respondents’ indigenous ecological knowledge on the conservation of B. ferruginea.
Table 5. The potentials of the respondents’ indigenous ecological knowledge on the conservation of F. exasperata.
Table 6. The potentials of the respondents’ indigenous ecological knowledge on the conservation of L. siceraria.
Table 7. The potentials of the respondents’ indigenous ecological knowledge on the conservation of P. biglobosa.
Table 8. The potentials of the respondents’ indigenous ecological knowledge on the conservation of S. americanum.
Table 9. The potentials of the respondents’ indigenous ecological knowledge on the conservation of T. schionperiana.
Table 10. The potentials of the respondents’ indigenous ecological knowledge on the conservation of T. vogelii.
Table11. The potentials of the respondents’ indigenous ecological knowledge on the conservation of V. doniana.
Table 12. The potentials of the respondents’ indigenous ecological knowledge on the conservation of V. paradoxa.