BRIEF HISTORY OF THE DEPARTMENT
The Department of Wildlife and Ecotourism Management, University of Ibadan has a history rooted in two Departments – The Department of Forest Resources Management and the Defunct Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Management.
The Defunct Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Management was formed out of the Department of Forest Resources Management in August 1981 as the first of its kind in Africa, South of the Sahara for capacity building through the training of manpower in Fisheries Management and Wildlife Management. One cannot but note here that a solid foundation was laid for the Department by the founding father Dr. S. S. Ajayi (now Professor Samuel Seth Ajayi) the first Head of the Defunct Department.
Thus, the Department ran two separate full-fledged degree programme in the two areas (Fisheries Management and Wildlife Management) at B.Sc., M.Sc., and Ph.D levels as well as a Postgraduate Diploma Programme in Biodiversity Management.
At exactly 1.15 pm on Wednesday, March 31, 2010, the doors of the new building of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Management were officially opened by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration), Professor E. A. Bamgboye on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor, during the tenure of Professor F. K. Ewete. As fate would have it, this marked a new development in the history of the Department as efforts made towards splitting the twin Departments into two separate Departments (namely – the Department of Aquaculture and Fisheries Management; and the Department of Wildlife and Ecotourism Management) materialized with the approval of the National University Commission in December, 2011.
The Department of Wildlife and Ecotourism Management has a renewed mandate to train high level manpower in areas which include Wildlife Production and Utilization, Resource Management, Extension, Biodiversity Management and Ecotourism at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
The conservation of the world’s natural resources is currently one of the major issues of discussion today. Production of Wildlife Resources and Tourism development are of immense importance in the sustainable production and management of renewable natural resources.
The Department is geared towards meeting the challenges of ensuring continuous rational exploitation of valuable biological diversity for food security and human livelihoods. The underlying philosophy of the programme in the Department is to produce graduates with sound knowledge and entrepreneurial skills in resource production and conservation for socio-economic enhancement of our society and protection of the world’s environment in general.