The world’s most-trafficked mammal may also be its most obscure — and agents just found 14 tons. There are eight species of pangolins in the world. Four species live in Africa: Black-bellied pangolin (Phataginus tetradactyla), White-bellied pangolin (Phataginus tricuspis), Giant Ground pangolin (Smutsia gigantea) and Temminck's Ground pangolin (Smutsia temminckii). (Themba Hadebe/AP) By . This species is one of four in Africa and the only one found in the east and south. Therefore, it is getting increasingly harder to spot these prehistoric-looking creatures in the wild. Smuggled pangolins have been found to carry viruses closely related to the one sweeping the world. Pangolins are the only mammals with scales. A pangolin looks for food in South Africa. Made to endure astounding levels of poaching and illegal trade, pangolins are another wildlife victim of insatiable consumer demand from various Asian nations. There are eight species of pangolin, split evenly between Africa and Asia. Four are found in Asia and four in Africa, but all of them are being threatened by the false belief that their scales can heal a variety of diseases. Valery Phakoago is doing her PhD on the dispersal of ground pangolins at Tswalu, where the use of telemetry is vital for keeping track of study animals. Pangolin, from the Malay meaning ‘rolling over,’ refers to this animal’s habit of curling into a ball when threatened. Africa’s pangolins are under increasing threat from traffickers who sell the meat as well as the scales of the anteater for use in traditional Chinese medicine. A pangolin looking for food on a private property in Johannesburg, South Africa, in February 2019. They are shy, elusive and secretive mammals whose bodies are covered in hard, keratin scales. They are found in tropical Asia and Africa and … The African Pangolin Working Group in South Africa — a team of veterinarians and wildlife experts — have been rehabilitating pangolins rescued from poachers for nearly a decade. Two weeks later, Hong Kong customs intercepted a shipment from South Africa, labeled “plastic pet,” that turned out to be 1,000 kg of pangolin scales — worth $645,000 on the black market. It also happens to be the subject of some fascinating research. They generally reside in central and southern areas of Africa, including the countries of Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Angola, Namibia, Botswana, and South Africa. Pangolin, any of the about eight species of armored placental mammals of the order Pholidota. South African activists try to protect endangered pangolins As World Pangolin Day is marked around the globe, Saturday, some conservationists in South Africa … Leading up to and during this meeting, the United States worked closely with a coalition of countries and non-government organizations committed to gaining suppor… Reis Thebault Pangolin meat can be found in many smaller restaurants along highways and in markets. In just over a week, Ray Jansen and his team have recovered four trafficked pangolins - three of them pregnant - in sting operations from the illicit trade in various parts of South Africa. Pangolins have long provided meat and traditional medicine for people in Africa and Asia. Two suspects have been arrested after they were found in possession of an endangered pangolin, police said on Monday. In southern Africa, there is a large amount of cross-border trafficking and trading of poached animals, particularly between Zimbabwe and South Africa. In South Africa, plans are underway to build a rehabilitation center for sick or rescued pangolins as well as deploy sniffer dogs specially trained to detect the scales’ pungent aroma. A six-hour drive south of the capital Yaounde, in the small town of Djoum, we met a woman named Mango. Four species are found in Africa south of the Sahara Desert: the ground pangolin, the white-bellied pangolin, the giant pangolin, and the black-bellied pangolin. At the 17th Conference of the Parties (CoP17) of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), held in Johannesburg, South Africa in September 2016, all eight pangolin species were uplisted from Appendix II to Appendix I. Eight species of pangolins are found on two continents. Veterinary nurse, Alicia Abbott, of the African Pangolin Working Group in South Africa examines a pangolin, at a Wildlife Veterinary Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa. Ashleigh Pienaar The Temminck’s ground pangolin is one of four species of pangolin endemic to Africa. Its range extends from South Africa to Chad. The African Pangolin Working Group in South Africa – a team of veterinarians and wildlife experts – have been rehabilitating pangolins rescued from poachers for nearly a decade. Paleo-archaeological evidence suggests pangolins may have evolved in Europe but the extant species are found only in Asia and Africa. These overlapping plates of keratin encase the animal’s upperparts to form a protective armour – impregnable when it rolls into a defensive ball. The ground pangolin (Smutsia temminckii) is a charismatic but threatened mammal found on Tswalu. ... South Africa . Yet, every year, as many as 2.7-million wild pangolins are plucked from central Africa’s forests alone. Ray Jansen, chairman of the African Pangolin Working Group, a South Africa-based network of pangolin conservationists and researchers, said conditions in wet markets in Wuhan were not unique. They range from Vulnerable to Critically Endangered. In South Africa, plans are underway to build a rehabilitation center for sick or rescued pangolins as well as deploy sniffer dogs specially trained to … Of the 8 different species of pangolins, Manis temminckii is the most prevalent and can live in the most diverse environments. Pangolins are found in a variety of habitats including tropical and flooded forests, thick brush, cleared and cultivated areas, and savannah grassland; in general they occur where large numbers of food (ants and termites) are found. While hunting elephant and rhino in South Africa can lead to a 100,000 rand (6,730 dollars) fine and a ten-year prison sentence, a pangolin hunter can get … They are nocturnal, elusive and obscure. They fulfil a similar ecological niche to anteaters in South America, but are unrelated, each having evolved to fill similar ecological roles through convergent evolution. Even with the dire straits pangolins find themselves in across Africa, there is hope to be found. According to wildlife experts, the eight species of pangolin, found across sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, are one of the world's most trafficked mammals.
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