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African White-Bellied Tree Pangolin

African White-Bellied Tree Pangolin A baby and a mother at Pangolin Conservation, a nonprofit organization in St. Augustine, Florida. The mammals are illegally killed for bush meat and their scales, which are claimed to have medical value.

PangolinConservation.org is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization (under it’s parent organization, Zoological Conservation) whose is dedicated to promoting the conservation, education, and research of the world’s most fascinating mammals! Why is this important? Pangolins are declining at an alarming rate due to the illegal trade to supply Asian traditional medicine. The four Asian pangolin species have been reduced to critical numbers. With Asian species becoming increasing rare, smugglers are now turning towards Africa to supply demand. The four African species populations are believed to be decreasing due to the illegal trade and habitat destruction. If the illegal trade continues to expand in Africa, they’ll be in the same position as their Asian cousins. We’re working with African pangolins BEFORE their populations crash.

We’re working on the ground in West Africa, in cooperation with the University of Lomé and our zoological partners, to study the White-bellied tree pangolin (Phataginus tricuspis) in the wild. Some of the questions our research in 2017 will answer:

  • How many pangolins are present in Western Togo?
  • What time of day and how many hours are pangolins active?
  • What is the range of male and female pangolins in the wild?
  • Specimens that are found in modified habitats, are they permanent residents or recent recruits from adjoining forest?
  • What is the approximate monthly trade in pangolins in the Plateaux region of Togo?
  • What are the seasonal changes in trade? Is trade increasing? Is it sustainable based on our biological knowledge of the species?
  • What is the best habitat to protect to secure pangolin populations?
  • What traits do villages have that trade in greater and lesser quantities of pangolins?
  • What other animals are present in pangolin habitats?

One of our other goals is developing husbandry and transit parameters required for maintaining pangolins in captivity for conservation, research, and zoological purposes. We do not support pangolins as pets or being farmed. They’re unsuitable species for these purposes. We are happy to report that our newly developed captive diet has had astounding success. This allows us to get past the most difficult aspect of captive pangolins, their specialized diet! We are working in cooperation with several zoological institutions and animal nutritionists to continue improving our diet. As data is obtained, we will be publishing it in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

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