Assessing Africa-wide pangolin exploitation by scaling local data

Ingram, Daniel John, Coad, Lauren, Abernethy, Katharine A, Maisels, Fiona, Stokes, Emma J, Bobo, Kadiri S, Breuer, Thomas, Gandiwa, Edson, Ghiurghi, Andrea, Greengrass, Elizabeth, Holmern, Tomas, Kamgaing, Towa O W, Ndong Obiang, Anne-Marie, Poulsen, John R, Schleicher, Judith, Nielsen, Martin R, Solly, Hilary, Vath, Carrie L, Waltert, Matthias, Whitham, Charlotte E L, Wilkie, David S and Scharlemann, Jorn P W (2017) Assessing Africa-wide pangolin exploitation by scaling local data. Conservation Letters. ISSN 1755-263X

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Abstract

Overexploitation is one of the main pressures driving wildlife closer to extinction, yet broad-scale data to evaluate species’ declines are limited. Using African pangolins (Family: Pholidota) as a case study, we demonstrate that collating local-scale data can provide crucial information on regional trends in exploitation of threatened species to inform conservation actions and policy. We estimate that 0.4-2.7 million pangolins are hunted annually in Central African forests. The number of pangolins hunted has increased by ∼150% and the proportion of pangolins of all vertebrates hunted increased from 0.04% to 1.83% over the past four decades. However, there were no trends in pangolins observed at markets, suggesting use of alternative supply chains. The price of giant (Smutsia gigantea) and arboreal (Phataginus sp.) pangolins in urban markets has increased 5.8 and 2.3 times respectively, mirroring trends in Asian pangolins. Efforts and resources are needed to increase law enforcement and population monitoring, and investigate linkages between subsistence hunting and illegal wildlife trade.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Africa; hunting; pangolins
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Evolution, Behaviour and Environment
Research Centres and Groups: Sussex Sustainability Research Programme
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH0001 Natural history (General)
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH0001 Natural history (General) > QH0075 Nature conservation
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH0301 Biology > QH0540 Ecology
Depositing User: Jorn Scharlemann
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2017 11:34
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2017 04:17
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/68844

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