Wildlife Conservation News



 
Wildlife and our last remaining wild places are being destroyed because of human action or inaction and because of our own short –term greed.

Peter Fearnhead, CEO, African Parks Network, South Africa


 

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Category: Pangolin Conservation

  1. Introducing the Pangolin Crisis Fund

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    There’s a Pangolin Crisis Fund that’s managed by the Wildlife Conservation Network.

    Save Pangolins have technical oversight of it.   It’s governed by expert advisors in the field in conservation and philanthropy.

    The Pangolin Crisis Fund has one goal: 

    To eliminate the demand, trafficking and poaching criss that puts all 8 species of pangolins at risk of extinction.

    The fund will invest in projects that are in keeping with the IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group’s strategies, such as:

    • Reducing demand for pangolin scales and meat by targeted campaigns to consumers and building relationships with government policy makers
    • Envorcement – strenthing those agencies protecting pangolins and their habitats – anti-oaching units, helping customs and protected area management
    • Combating trafficking – reducing the illegal trade of pangolins at every level, with judicial reform and anti-trafficking tools.  Close alliances with law enforcement and policymakers with be needed
    • Raising the profile of pangolins to start changing behavioiur and encourage conservation support
    • Working with local communities living next to pangolin habitat so that they can see these animals as worth more alive than poached

    Find out more about Save Pangolins here

    Find out more about the Pangolin Crisis Fund here

     

  2. Calling all pangolin lovers! There's pangolin conservation news

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    There’s pangolin news from Uganda.  

    Conservationists at Chester Zoo are collaborating with the Uganda Wildlife Authority and the Rhino Fund Uganda to discover more information about pangolins.

    It’s hoped that new information about the species will help with their long-term conservation, both in Uganda and in Africa overall.

    Although rhino conservation is the Rhino Fund Uganda’s main priority, their rangers were occasionally spotting giant pangolins when they were out on patrol.  So it made sense for them to get involved.

    Pangolins are covered in hard overlapping, protective scales made of keratin.  Giant pangolins measure up to 1.8m long (that’s nearly 6’), and they’re the largest of the world’s 8 pangolin sub-species, found only in the rainforests and grasslands of equatorial Africa.

    They may well be protected by international wildlife laws banning their trade, but pangolins are the most illegally trafficked mammals in the world.  Their meat is considered a delicacy in a number of countries.  Their scales are used in traditional medicines, especially in China and Vietnam, despite the fact there’s medical benefit from using them.

    The problem is that little is known about giant pangolins.  Scientists need to know more about their behaviour, ecology and habitat needs so that strategies can be developed to monitor populations and protect them.

    Researchers from Chester Zoo have surveyed the presence of giant pangolins in 3 protected areas of Uganda.  They worked alongside the Rhino Fund Uganda to do an intensive survey of the country’s Ziwa Sanctuary.  They used camera traps and tracking techniques, looking for footprints, burrows and other signs the species have been about.

    70 motion-sensor trail cameras installed by the zoo in the Ziwa Sanctuary have captured hundreds of images and video clips of giant pangolins – including the first colour footage ever recorded of the species in Uganda! And here it is!

    This means that researchers can now identify a number of individual pangolins by their unique marks and patterns on their scales.  And so they can record their behaviours, which were previously unknown to scientists.

    Pangolin dung samples are being collected to acquire vital information about the animals’ diet and hopefully it will help the scientists find out more about the genetics of giant pangolins.

    The team also plans to fit satellite and radio tracking devices on the scales of giant pangolins so that they can find out more about their ranging behaviour, feeding ecology and help develop methods to count and monitor the pangolins. 

    Visit Chester Zoo's website

     

  3. Help the EIA help pangolins

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    The Environmental Investigation Agency fulfils a number of roles:

    • Its undercover investigations expose transnational wildlife crime, focusing on elephants, pangolins and tigers, as well as forest crimes e.g. illegal logging and deforestation for crops such as palm oil
    • It safeguards global marine ecosystems by addressed threats presented by plastic pollution, bycatch and commercial exploitation of whales, dolphins and purposes
    • It reduces the impact of climate change, campaigning to eliminate greenhouses gases, exposing related illicit trade and improving energy efficiency.
    • And it uses its findings in hard-hitting reports to campaign for new legislation, improved governance and crucially more effective enforcement.

    In 2018, the EIA set up a dedicated Pangolin Project but it has already been busy gathering seizure data – you can see this on their interactive Pangolin trade map.

    Data is vital information; it shows the trends in the illegal trade and so is key for law enforcement and academics examining trends and for advocates of the international ban on the trade of all species of pangolins, which was secured in September 2016.

    The Pangolin Project will enhance enforcement against the criminal syndiates trafficking pangolins.  It gives actionable information to the authorities and ensures they have the capability to properly implement the protection of pangolins.

    The data gathered on the criminal networks will help raise awareness of the pangolin trade amongst the judiciary;  and provide training to a new intelligence unit in one of the key countries.

     

    How you can help pangolins

    You can help by making a donation and also by making sure that you never buy products containing pangolins, especially if you live in or travel to China or Vietnam.

    If you buy Traditional Chinese Medicine ‘herbal’ products, check ingredients don’t include “Chuan Shan Jia”, also written as 穿山甲