The Department of Wildlife and Ecotourism Management, University of Ibadan has an 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 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. Samuel Seth Ajayi (now Professor S. S. Ajayi) the first Head of the Defunct Department.
Thus, the Department ran two separate full-fledged degree programmes 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 1.15pm on Wednesday, March 31, 2010, the doors of the new building of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Management were officially opened. This event was graced 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 the splitting of the twin department into two separate Departments (Department of Aquaculture and Fisheries Management, and the Department of Wildlife and Ecotourism Management).
The Department of Wildlife and Ecotourism Management was created as a full-fledged Department in Febuary 1, 2012, following the approval of the national University Commission (NUC) for splitting the former Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Management into two. The Department of Wildlife and Ecotourism Management is geared towards meeting the challenges of ensuring sustainable exploitation, while not undermining that valuable biological diversity is needed to ensure for food security, recreational activities and other human livelihoods. Also, the conservation of the world’s natural resources is currently one of the major issues of discussion today. Therefore, training needed manpower for the production of Wildlife Resources and Tourism development initiatives are of immense importance in diversifying the economy and ensuring the sustainable production and management of renewable natural resources.
The Department through this curriculum update has therefore renewed its mandate to train high level manpower in areas specialized in Wildlife and Ecotourism Management (these areas include Wildlife production and Utilization, Resource Management, Extension, Biodiversity Management and Ecotourism) at Postgraduate level (M.Sc., M.Phil., M.Phil/Ph.D. and Ph.D.). These programmes will enable our candidates to acquire knowledge and provide sufficient skills in the profession all across the nation and the West African sub-region.
The Postgraduate programme of the Department of Wildlife and Ecotourism Management is geared towards accomplishing the following objectives;
(i) Turn out competent Wildlife and Ecotourism Management experts that will fit into emerging public and private establishment in the country and beyond.
(ii) Produce well trained specialists with great entrepreneurship skill towards being employers of labour within and outside the country.
(iii) Develop graduate students with high competence in the field of Wildlife and Ecotourism Management research so as to fill the gap in expertise in Nigeria’s higher educational institutions as well as international community.