Need for Emergency response to Wetlands Loss in Southwestern Nigeria: A Review
Southwestern Nigeria's wetlands are assaulted, degraded, and lost, especially to agricultural development and urban expansions, while the rural wetlands losses are due to agriculture but temporal in nature, loss to urban developments are permanent. To examine the extent, influence, and potential of the degradation, the review covered the six states of the region, revealing losses due to wetlands destruction in the region between 1965 and 2019. Wetlands in Lagos reduced from 708.96ha (52.68%) in 1965 to 7.10ha (0.53%) in 2005, Eleyele Wetland in Oyo State, (Riparian), reduced consistently from (1.25 km2) in 1984 to (0.98 km2) 1994, (0.70 km2) 2004 and finally (0.42 km2) in 2014. Eriti forested wetlands of Ogun State lost about 45.32% between 1972 and 2015; in Ondo State, Akure South Local Government Area Wetlands decreased from 98.90 km2 (30.13%) in 1999 to 90.33 km2 in 2009 (27.52%); Ilesa wetlands, in Osun State decreased from 258 hectares to 89 hectares between 1986 and 2002. The above scenarios in the region imply that in a short while, the wetlands would be completely lost, most importantly to the uncontrolled urban developments. Therefore, there is an urgent need for all hands to be on deck to protect wetlands by considering them as endangered ecosystems.