In 2014 the Pangolin Specialist Group launched a global conservation action plan ‘Scaling up Pangolin Conservation’ which outlines actions that critically require implementation in order to conserve pangolins.

We encourage and provide technical advice and support for the development of species-specific, national and regional conservation action plans. Please contact us if you would like our support.

 

SCALING UP PANGOLIN CONSERVATION

IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group Conservation Action Plan

Please see the below table for a summary of the global conservation action plan. Click the headings to find out more about each theme, including the actions involved and the progress towards achieving them. Click the image to download the PDF version.

 

CONSERVATION RESEARCH

Overview
Action: Develop protocols for monitoring pangolin abundance
Rationale: Protocols need to be developed for pangolins and subsets of species to gain information about populations, and where to focus conservation efforts
CountryPriorityCost
(GBP)
CommenceTimescaleStakeholders
All range states190000201424 monthsPangolin SG
Postdoctoral researchers
Progress
IUCN Save Our Species and Zoological Society of London: Being investigated as part of a two year project at key sites in Thailand – in progress
Rationale
Action: Develop interactive online seizure database
Rationale: This information will help to define the extent of the trade and potential trade dynamics
Country
Region
Priority
1 – 4
(1=highest)
Cost
(GBP)
CommenceTimescaleResponsible stakeholders
All range states13000020158 monthsPangolin SG
NGOs
Progress
IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group: Database of pangolin seizures in Asia built by Dan Challender and being maintained – in progress
Education for Nature Vietnam: Established a wildlife crime unit in 2005 and publicly report consumer targeted pangolin crimes – in progress
African Pangolin Working Group and Tikki Hywood Trust: Collating a database of pangolin seizures Zimbabwe and Africa wide – in progress
Overview
Action: Development of a pangolin price index
Rationale: To track the retail price of pangolins in range states and in key demand countries
Country
Region
Priority
1 – 4
(1=highest)
Cost
(GBP)
CommenceTimescaleResponsible stakeholders
Key range/demand states225000 per year2015On-goingPangolin SG
NGOs
Researchers
Progress
IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group: Database of pangolin prices in key consumer markets built by Dan Challender and being maintained – in progress
Overview
Action: Development of a consumption index
Rationale: Surveys in Asian and African end use markets to understand demand demographics and attitudes, and to inform the development of demand reduction strategies
Country
Region
Priority
1 – 4
(1=highest)
Cost
(GBP)
CommenceTimescaleResponsible stakeholders
Asia (China/Vietnam) and Africa1400000201510 years, 5 replicatesPangolin SG
Researchers
Progress
IUCN Save Our Species and Zoological Society of London: Implementing a project to understand demand in China – in progress
Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE), University of Kent: Recently conducted research into demand in China and Vietnam, publications include the below with others forthcoming – in progress
African Pangolin Working Group, Tshwane University of Technology and National Zoological Gardens of South Africa:
- Researching pangolin use as a traditional medicine and for bush-meat in West Africa – in progress
- Researching the customary beliefs and traditional use of Smutsia temminckii within South African tribal communities – in progress
IUCN Save Our Species and Zoological Society of London:
- Conducting surveys of ~100 Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) outlets in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, assessing the values and use of pangolin products. Survey results integrated into awareness raising activities – in progress
- Conducting rapid assessment surveys of ~1000 urban residents in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, assessing the prevalence and use of pangolin products – in progress. Survey results will be integrated into a demand reduction strategy – planned for 2015
- Producing an annual assessment on pangolin trade, profiling both smuggling and consumer trade in Vietnam – planned in 2015
Overview
Action: Protocols developed for conservation breeding of pangolins
Rationale: To ensure best practice is followed in conservation breeding
Country
Region
Priority
1 – 4
(1=highest)
Cost
(GBP)
CommenceTimescaleResponsible stakeholders
Asia and Africa48000020155 yearsExisting conservation centres
Progress
IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group: Written husbandry guidelines for pangolins in captivity – in progress
Tikki Hywood Trust: Drafting a manual on husbandry and neonatal care for Smutsia temminckii – in progress
Oregon State University: Semi-captive breeding of pangolins in Nigeria is to be conducted for research purposes – planned for 2015
Rationale
Action: Development of rehabilitation and reintroduction protocols
Rationale: To ensure best practice is followed in rehabilitation and reintroduction
Country
Region
Priority
1 – 4
(1=highest)
Cost
(GBP)
CommenceTimescaleResponsible stakeholders
Asia and Africa31000020146 monthsExisting conservation centres
Progress
African Pangolin Working Group, FM & Tikki Hywood Trust: Drafting a rehabilitation and reintroduction protocol for Smutsia temminckii – in progress
Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden: A Wildlife Rescue Centre has been established in Hong Kong. To date the centre has received nine pangolins, six of which have been successfully treated and returned to the wild – in progress
Oregon State University: Semi-captive breeding of pangolins in Nigeria is to be conducted for research purposes – planned for 2015
Tikki Hywood Trust: Documenting pangolin behaviour gathered during the rehabilitation process – in progress
Rationale
Action: Define habitat suitability for all eight species
Rationale: This is important for niche modelling to help identify sites where the species may be present and to identify potential reintroduction sites
Country
Region
Priority
1 – 4
(1=highest)
Cost
(GBP)
CommenceTimescaleResponsible stakeholders
All range states445000201512 monthsPostdoctoral researcher
Progress
IUCN Save Our Species and Zoological Society of London: Being investigated as part of a two-year project at key sites in Thailand – in progress
Oregon State University: Collating data on habitat suitability for pangolin populations in Nigeria – planned for 2015
Overview
Action: Understanding home range, movement, distribution of pangolins through time and population dynamics
Rationale: Understanding pangolin ecology will allow us to better understand their conservation needs
Country
Region
Priority
1 – 4
(1=highest)
Cost
(GBP)
CommenceTimescaleResponsible stakeholders
All range states330000020164 yearsPangolin SG
Postdoctoral researchers
PhD students
NGOs
Progress
African Pangolin Working Group, TU and UP: Research has been conducted on ‘behavioural ecology and conservation biology of Smutsia temminckii in the Kalahari Desert– publications forthcoming – in progress
African Pangolin Working Group: Mapping the past and present distribution of pangolins in Africa – in progress
Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden: The Kadoorie Conservation China team (KCC) is conducting camera trap surveys in 4 provinces of China (within the range of Manis pentadactyla) along with interview surveys to investigate trends of local extirpation – in progress
Katala Foundation Inc.: Conducting abundance surveys and a telemetry study for Manis culionensis – in progress
Oregon State University: Collating data on pangolin population sizes, gender and age distribution in Nigeria – in progress
Tikki Hywood Trust: Collating data on pangolin sightings in Zimbabwe – in progress
Overview
Action: DNA analysis to identify population genetic variation within and between species
Rationale: When seizures occur it is important to understand where source populations come from to piece together trade dynamics
Country
Region
Priority
1 – 4
(1=highest)
Cost
(GBP)
CommenceTimescaleResponsible stakeholders
All range states25000020144 yearsAfrican Pangolin Working Group (APWG)
Other specialist partners
Progress
Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden: The Genetics Lab (under the Flora Conservation Department of Hong Kong) is using DNA forensics to identify species and provenance of seized pangolin scales to investigate and monitor illegal trade. A summary report is pending – in progress
Tikki Hywood Trust: Collating genetic samples from all pangolins that come through the rescue centre in Zimbabwe – in progress
Rationale
Action: Spatial and phylogenetic variation of all pangolin species to distinguish species, sub-species and significant evolutionary units
Rationale: This information is needed to better target conservation efforts aiming to conserve genetic diversity
Country
Region
Priority
1 – 4
(1=highest)
Cost
(GBP)
CommenceTimescaleResponsible stakeholders
All range states410000020154 yearsAfrican Pangolin Working Group (APWG)
Other specialist partners
Progress
African Pangolin Working Group, National Zoological Gardens of South Africa, Tikki Hywood Trust, Tshwane University of Technology and University of the Free State:
- Research has been conducted on ‘Molecular insights into the genetic variation of Smutsia temminckii populations in southern Africa’ – publication forthcoming – in progress
- Research being conducted into the evolutionary history of Smutsia temminckii – in progress
African Pangolin Working Group, National Zoological Gardens of South Africa and Tshwane University of Technology: Researching Pan-African phylo-geography and the evolution of pangolins – in progress
Oregon State University: Researching the degree of genetic isolation among populations of Phataginus tricuspis in Nigeria – in progress

 

PANGOLIN STRONGHOLDS

Overview
Action: Identify pangolin strongholds, starting with priority countries
Rationale: To set national-level conservation priorities. Ultimately these will be aggregated to the global scale
Country
Region
Priority
1 – 4
(1=highest)
Cost
(GBP)
CommenceTimescaleResponsible stakeholders
All range states120000 per country201518 months per countryPangolin SG
NGOs
MSc/PhD students
Progress
IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group: Identified potential and likely pangolin strongholds globally which require verification – in progress
Overview
Action: Implement or support patrol-based monitoring at sites with high pangolin densities
Rationale: To safeguard known healthy populations of pangolins
Country
Region
Priority
1 – 4
(1=highest)
Cost
(GBP)
CommenceTimescaleResponsible stakeholders
All range states140000 per country2015On-goingPangolin SG
United for Wildlife
Government Agencies
Progress
IUCN Save Our Species and Zoological Society of London: Being implemented at key sites in Thailand and Cameroon as part of two year project – in progress
United for Wildlife: Implementation planned at 231 sites globally – in progress
Tikki Hywood Trust: Supporting pangolin release sites and building training capacity for local scouts in Zimbabwe – in progress
Overview
Action: Education and outreach with local communities within or near pangolin strongholds
Rationale: To engender local community support for pangolin conservation
Country
Region
Priority
1 – 4
(1=highest)
Cost
(GBP)
CommenceTimescaleResponsible stakeholders
All range states210000 per site20153 yearsPangolin SG
NGOs
Progress
IUCN Save Our Species and Zoological Society of London: Community outreach being undertaken at key sites in Thailand and Cameroon as part of a two year project – in progress
Tikki Hywood Trust:
- Conducting education and outreach programmes with local communities within or near pangolin strongholds in Zimbabwe – In progress
- Raising awareness of pangolin conservation directly with local community Chiefs and council of Chiefs in Zimbabwe – in progress
Description
Action: Pilot livelihood interventions
Rationale: To ensure that local people have alternatives to poaching pangolins
Country
Region
Priority
1 – 4
(1=highest)
Cost
(GBP)
CommenceTimescaleResponsible stakeholders
All range states250000 per site (4 in total)20164 yearsNGOs

 

POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS

Description
Action: Representation of Pangolin SG at CITES CoPs and other inter-sessional meetings
Rationale: To inform national and international policy on the conservation of and trade in pangolins directly
Country
Region
Priority
1 – 4
(1=highest)
Cost
(GBP)
CommenceTimescaleResponsible stakeholders
All range states150002014On-goingPangolin SG
Progress
IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group: Formed part of IUCN delegation at CITES CoP16 and Standing Committee 65 meetings. Also a member of the CITES Standing Committee inter-sessional working group on pangolin trade and conservation
Tikki Hywood Trust: Attended CITES Standing Committee 65 meeting
Overview
Action: Liaison with CITES Parties, and other researchers on the sustainability of exploitation
Rationale: To help build the evidence base on the impact of trade on populations, and to inform appropriate policy decisions
Country
Region
Priority
1 – 4
(1=highest)
Cost
(GBP)
CommenceTimescaleResponsible stakeholders
All range states1200020143 yearsPangolin SG
Progress
IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group:
- Member of CITES Standing Committee inter-sessional working group on pangolin trade and conservation – in progress
- Delivery of key presentations at First Pangolin Range States meeting, Da Nang, Vietnam, June 2015 – in progress
Overview
Action: Liaison with appropriate stakeholders to review potential CoP proposals
Rationale: To critically evaluate, and provide expertise on such proposals through appropriate channels
Country
Region
Priority
1 – 4
(1=highest)
Cost
(GBP)
CommenceTimescaleResponsible stakeholders
All range states1200020143 yearsPangolin SG
Progress
IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group: To review proposals as appropriate – in progress
Overview
Action: Review gaps in current legislation protecting pangolins and identify alternatives
Rationale: Understanding gaps will enable us to target our efforts to amend legislation for pangolin conservation
Country
Region
Priority
1 – 4
(1=highest)
Cost
(GBP)
CommenceTimescaleResponsible stakeholders
All range states240000201512 monthsLegal firm
Progress
DLA Piper: Undertaking gap analyses and review of legislation affording protection to pangolins in Asia and Africa – in progress
African Pangolin Working Group and Tikki Hywood Trust: Research on ‘A perspective of legislation pertaining to African pangolins’ submitted for publication – in progress
Education for Nature Vietnam:
- Will review Vietnam’s criminal code and address conflicts in current regulations regarding punishment for serious wildlife crimes – planned for 2015
- Will help prevent legislation from coming into force that could legalise pangolin farming – planned for 2015
Overview
Action: Greater transparency surrounding stockpiles and disposal of seized pangolins and pangolin products in China and Vietnam
Rationale: To understand the supply of pangolin scales to current markets, given reported stockpiles exist. An open and transparent review of stockpiles would explicate current supply, enabling further actions to be taken
Country
Region
Priority
1 – 4
(1=highest)
Cost
(GBP)
CommenceTimescaleResponsible stakeholders
China and Vietnam15000020152 yearsPangolin SG
CITES
Government agencies
Progress
IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group: Part of the CITES Standing Committee inter-sessional working group collating information on pangolin trade and conservation, including on stockpiles
Overview
Action: Provide training and materials for enforcement officials in Asia, Africa, Europe and US, to increase awareness and capacity for enforcement
Rationale: To increase awareness of law and trade dynamics and increase ability to enforce pangolin legislation
Country
Region
Priority
1 – 4
(1=highest)
Cost
(GBP)
CommenceTimescaleResponsible stakeholders
All range states, plus Europe and US12000020152 yearsPangolin SG
NGOs
Progress
IUCN Save Our Species and Zoological Society of London: Training for rangers and eco-guards on SMART implementation being delivered at key sites in Thailand and Cameroon as part of a two year project – in progress
Education for Nature Vietnam:
- Providing guidance to Vietnamese provincial governments on the new status of pangolins and actions required involving pangolin seizures, following the inclusion of pangolins under Decree 160 (species fully protected under the law) – in progress
- Collaborating and securing agreements with a number of Vietnamese provinces to assist with handling confiscated pangolins – in progress
- Established a Vietnamese wildlife crime unit in 2005 and actively investigating pangolin smuggling/trade cases – in progress
- Maintaining an informant network that continues to provide intelligence on criminal networks, resulting in a number of enforcement interventions in Vietnam – in progress
Tikki Hywood Trust:
- Drafting a handbook pertaining to endangered and locally protected species (incl. Smutsia temminckii) for dissemination to Zimbabwean magistrates, public prosecutors, police, national parks, anti-poaching staff and other interest groups – in progress
- Providing communication and transportation assistance to pangolin related cases and assisting in preparation and maintenance of documents with specific references to wildlife crime in Zimbabwe – in progress

 

DEMAND REDUCTION, BEHAVIOUR CHANGE AND AWARENESS RAISING

Overview
Action: Development and implementation of demand reduction strategy for pangolin meat and scales
Rationale: Implementing a demand reduction strategy is the single most important activity to address the decline in pangolins
Country
Region
Priority
1 – 4
(1=highest)
Cost
(GBP)
CommenceTimescaleResponsible stakeholders
China and Vietnam1200000020154 yearsPangolin SG
Appointed consultants
Progress
IUCN Save Our Species
and Zoological Society of London:
Implementing a project to develop understanding of and to address demand in China – in progress
Education for Nature Vietnam:
- Planning a demand reduction campaign targeting Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) outlets in approximately 16 Vietnamese cities, with the aim of securing voluntary compliance in removing pangolin products for sale – planned for 2015
- Planning a consumer-based demand reduction campaign targeting pangolin crimes in restaurants and TCM shops, with the aim of reducing pangolin crime by 60-80% – planned for 2015
Overview
Action: Digital media and awareness raising campaign to raise the profile of pangolins globally
Rationale: A digital strategy including video, photos, gaming and social media is essential for getting public, government and donor buy-in to pangolin conservation
Country
Region
Priority
1 – 4
(1=highest)
Cost
(GBP)
CommenceTimescaleResponsible stakeholders
Global, especially China and Vietnam1100000020162 yearsPangolin SG
Appointed consultants
Progress
IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group: On-going social media campaigns to raise awareness of pangolins, including celebrating World Pangolin Day – in progress
United for Wildlife: Launch of a digital media campaign on pangolins in which reached an estimated 9 million people and the launch of a pangolin ‘Angry birds’ game which was played over 8 million times within a week. Other activities ongoing – in progress
African Pangolin Working Group (APWG): Continually updating APWG social media streams and website under review – in progress
Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV):
- Implementing an awareness raising campaign targeting online businesses advertising and selling pangolin products in Vietnam – in progress
- Integrating pangolin awareness activities into all outreach activities including university seminars, wildlife trade events, ENV’s monthly ‘Voice of Vietnam’ radio show on wildlife protection, viral campaigns and through printed materials produced and distributed by ENV – in progress
- Conducting a consumer crime enforcement campaign in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, Vietnam, with the view to expand to other areas, targeting businesses advertising and selling pangolin products – in progress
- Featuring pangolins in an awareness raising campaign to be featured in around 100 major public markets nationwide, 8-10 government ministry offices, and employee entrances of more than 100 companies in Vietnam – in progress
- Public service announcements focusing on reducing demand for pangolin products are expected to air on 50-60 TV stations in Vietnam for 2 months, as well as feature in supermarkets and on viral channels – planned for 2015
Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden (KFBG):
- Featuring a pangolin exhibit in the reception centre of the Botanic Gardens in Hong Kong – in progress
- Highlighting pangolin rescue stories on KFBG social media streams – In progress
Tikki Hywood Trust:
- Produced printed material campaigns, state media and pay for view television advertising (including production of TV adverts) and independent filming of pangolins for educational purposes – in progress
- Collating a database of pangolin related interactions with the public in Zimbabwe – in progress
Overview
Action: Engage the arts community to promote the plight of pangolins
Rationale: The arts community will reach a broad and new audience, many of which have resources and connections that could aid pangolin conservation
Country
Region
Priority
1 – 4
(1=highest)
Cost
(GBP)
CommenceTimescaleResponsible stakeholders
Global1500002015On-goingPangolin SG
Progress
IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group: Presentation focused on pangolins delivered at the Serpentine Gallery in London during a weekend long 'Extinction Marathon', an event where artists, writers, scientists, film-makers and musicians explored the topic of extinction through talks, performances and screenings – completed
Overview
Action: Engage the major foundations in pangolin conservation
Rationale: To free up funding for pangolin conservation, foundations need to be aware that pangolins are the most illegally traded wild mammals on the planet
Country
Region
Priority
1 – 4
(1=highest)
Cost
(GBP)
CommenceTimescaleResponsible stakeholders
Global120002014On-goingPangolin SG
Progress
IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group: Pangolins are a focal species for the United for Wildlife partnership and included for protection within numerous large funding proposals – in progress
Overview
Action: Engage opinion formers (especially in China and Vietnam)
Rationale: If harnessed, opinion formers can rapidly change behaviour
Country
Region
Priority
1 – 4
(1=highest)
Cost
(GBP)
CommenceTimescaleResponsible stakeholders
China and Vietnam1200002014On-goingPangolin SG