Department of Ecotourism and Wildlife Management, School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (Corresponding author)
Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria
Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Management, College of Agriculture, Osun State University, Ejigbo Campus, Ejigbo, Nigeria
Abstract: The unabating degradation of Nigeria’s biodiversity necessitated the evaluation of the effects of personal factors on environmental attitudes of local communities around protected areas. This study aimed at identifying environmental attitudes of local communities around Nigeria’s protected areas and the effects of personal factors on their attitudes. Data were obtained from 1170 villagers randomly selected among the local communities in Chad Basin, Cross River, Gashaka-Gumti, Kainji Lake, Kamuku, Okomu and Old Oyo National Parks and evaluated with Dunlap and van Liere (1978) NEP Scale. The methods for data collection were focus group discussions and individual interviews through questionnaire administration. Analysis was through descriptive statistics, Pearson’s Correlations, and Chi Square analysis. The local communities had negative attitudes towards three items of the Scale while they had positive attitudes towards nine. Household size (r = 0.11, P<0.01), sex (χ2= 57.77, P<0.01), marital status (χ2 = 31.02, P<0.01), education (χ2 = 12.64, P<0.01, occupation (χ2 =49.24, P<0.01), religion (χ2 = 16.76, P<0.01), nationality (χ2 = 83.38, P<0.01), ethnic group (χ2 =24.15, P<0.01) were significantly related to environmental attitudes. These factors exert considerable impact on the attitude of the local communities and may be the key determinants of their behavior towards the protected areas.
Keywords: Environmental attitudes, local communities, NEP Scale, personal factors, protected areas, Nigeria.
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