An ethnobotanical survey was carried out on 31 woody species recorded in the protected forests of Dan Kada Dodo and Dan Gado in south-central Niger. Semi-structured interviews with local population were conducted between June and September 2012 in seven bordering villages in which five are predominantly from the Hausa ethnic group and two are from the Fulani ethnic group. A total of 256 people were randomly selected and interviewed. Plant parts and species use-value and preferences were evaluated. Local populations were found to use forest resources for varied and vital needs. The use category wood energy was dominant (20.38%), followed by medicinal uses (19.42%). Wood leaves and roots were the most used parts of the plants. There is significant difference (P<0.01) in use importance between different tree components by the local population. Balanites aegyptiaca (Del), Hyphaene thebaica (L.) Mart., Tamarindus indica (L.), Ziziphus mauritiana (Lam), Sclerocarya birrea (A. Rich) Hochst and Guiera senegalensis (J. F. Gmelin) had high ethnobotanical use-values and were the most preferred by local communities. These important species should be considered for long-term biodiversity conservation and management programmes.
Key words: Quantitative ethnobotany, use category, use-value, multipurpose trees, agroforestry, prioritization, domestication.