THE EFFECTS OF CRUDE OIL CONTAMINATED FORAGE ON BREEDING BEHAVIOR AND REPRODUCTIVE PERFORMANCE OF FEMALE RABBITS
|Medubari B. Nodu1 and Elijah I. Ohimain2*
|Corresponding Author: Elijah I. Ohimain,Bioenergy and Environmental Biotechnology Research Unit, Department of Biological Sciences, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State, Nigeria,E-mail: [email protected]|
|Received: 25 February 2014 Accepted: 30 March 2014|
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Oil spill is a major threat to the biodiversity and survival of land animals. In this study, the effect of oil contaminated forage on the breeding behavior and reproductive performance of female rabbits was tested in a completely randomized experimental design (CRD). Results show that oil contaminated forage result in decreased acceptance of males, no pregnancy and increased pseudo-pregnancy. Acceptability of males decreased as the level of crude oil increased in the contaminated forage. All the females (100%) in the control accepted males, 50% of the females in the 0.05% crude oil contaminated forage accepted males, 33.33% of them in the 0.1 % and 0.15% accepted males, while none of the rabbits in the 0.2% accepted males. It can therefore be concluded that oil spill can cause reproductive failure in rabbits, which could affect their sustainability.