Nlonako pangolins hunted, eaten and traded!

The Nlonako Mountain area which hosts two (the White and Black bellied Pangolin) out of the four species found in Africa are threatened by intensive hunting, destruction of habitat for agriculture and the use of pesticides. They are eaten as bush meat and the scales are used in traditional medicine or for trade. This illegal trade takes place despite prohibitions under CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). A lack of awareness and information along with insufficient political pressure makes tackling the black market trade more challenging.

The Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) in its new Landscape Management Approach, has as an objective to educate public audiences around the Nlonako-Muanenguba Mountains landscape about pangolins and their crisis in order to inspire action. Additionally, there is lack of resources and capacity to implement conservation programs, and low prioritization by governments and local communities to take action. Communities and local officials need to be fully aware of the benefits of pangolin conservation so that they can become involved in conservation action.Also, funding and resources are needed to immediately halt this illegal trade, and broadening conservation efforts is critical to the survival of this remarkable group of animals.

Pangolins are mammals that inhabit tropical forests, dry woodlands and the savannah. They are also known as scaly anteaters because of their appearance, long tongues and favorite snacks. They are solitary and nocturnal. There are eight species still in existence found in India, China, south-east Asia and parts of Africa. All of them are listed Threatened under the IUCN Red List classification. Out of these eight species, four of them are found in Africa that is; Temminck’s Ground pangolin (Smutsia temminckii) Vulnerable, White-bellied or Tree pangolin (Phataginus tricuspis) Vulnerable, Giant Ground pangolin (Smutsia gigantea) Vulnerable, Black-bellied or Long-tailed pangolin (Phataginus tetradactyla) Vulnerable, Giant Ground pangolin ( smutsiagigantea) and Black Bellied ( Manis tetradactyla).