Darren Pietersen

Darren Pietersen
University of Pretoria | UP · Mammal Research Institute Department of Zoology and Entomology

PhD Zoology
Director of Research: Tikki Hywood Foundation

About

43
Publications
21,179
Reads
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459
Citations
Introduction
I am actively researching pangolins, reptiles, amphibians and bird taxonomy, among others.
Additional affiliations
June 2018 - present
University of Pretoria
Position
  • PostDoc Position
March 2013 - May 2016
University of Pretoria
Position
  • PhD Candidate, Department of Zoology and Entomology
March 2013 - June 2018
University of Pretoria
Position
  • PhD Student

Publications

Publications (43)
Technical Report
Full-text available
Many members of the Pangolin Specialist Group and other experts contributed their expertise to this document. The Pangolin Specialist Group particularly thanks the following individuals for their contribution: Gary Ades, Prince Pascal Agro, Copper Aiken-Palmer, Daryl Bosu, Christopher Brown, Dan Challender, Ju lian Chong, Ellen Connelly, Sarah Craw...
Technical Report
Full-text available
IUCN assessment. See https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/109452786/109452813
Technical Report
Full-text available
IUCN assessment. See https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/109452875/109452879
Technical Report
Full-text available
IUCN Assessment. See : https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/110211850/110211854
Article
en Temminck's pangolin (Smutsia temminckii) is a threatened mammal found in southern and eastern Africa. It is the most widely distributed African pangolin species yet is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List due to a projected population decline of 30%–40% within the next three generations. This species' secretive, predominantly nocturnal beha...
Book
Full-text available
Zambia and Malawi are home to 240 known snake, lizard, terrapin, tortoise and crocodile species. This book is the first field guide to describe every species of reptile known to occur in this region - including 14 endemics and several new discoveries. This authoritative book includes: -Descriptions of each order, suborder, family, genus and specie...
Article
Blood biochemistry values are routinely employed during clinical examinations to assess the health of the patient and to identify potential underlying conditions. No blood biochemistry data are currently available for Temminck’s pangolin ( Smutsia temminckii ), a species that is being confiscated from both the domestic and international trade with...
Article
Full-text available
o effectively conserve and manage species, it is important to (1) understand how they are spatially distributed across the globe at both broad and fine spatial resolutions and (2) elucidate the determinants of these distributions. However, information pertaining to the distributions of many species remains poor as occurrence data are often scarce o...
Article
The globally distributed avian family Motacillidae consists of five to seven genera (Anthus, Dendronanthus, Tmetothylacus, Macronyx and Motacilla, and depending on the taxonomy followed, Amaurocichla and Madanga) and 66–68 recognized species, of which 32 species in four genera occur in sub-Saharan Africa. The taxonomy of the Motacillidae has been c...
Article
Full-text available
Pangolins are threatened by overexploitation for local and international use. They are subject to an international commercial trade ban, and are also the focus of other interventions, including attempts at commercial captive breeding. The impact that the latter could have on the conservation of wild populations deserves consideration. We critically...
Article
Acontias aurantiacus (Peters) presently consists of five subspecies that are largely restricted to the coastal regions and offshore islands of Mozambique and northern South Africa, with subspecies being defined on the basis of morphological differences and/or parapatric distributions. In this study one nuclear (RAG1) and two mitochondrial (cyt b an...
Article
Full-text available
The herpetofauna of Zambia has been relatively well-studied, although most surveys were conducted decades ago. In western Zambia in particular, surveys were largely restricted to a few centers, particularly those along the Zambezi River. We here report on the herpetofauna of the Ngonye Falls and surrounding regions in southwestern Zambia. We record...
Article
The Yellow-breasted Pipit (Anthus chloris) is endemic to the eastern escarpment of South Africa, marginally entering eastern Lesotho. This species is classified as globally Vulnerable due to a perceived decreasing population size and loss of habitat. We employed Species Distribution Modelling to investigate the predicted range of this species to de...
Article
Full-text available
The escalating growth in illegal wildlife trade (IWT) and anthropogenic habitat changes threaten the survival of pangolin species globally. All eight extant species have experienced drastic population size reductions globally with high extinction risk in Asia. Consequently, forensic services have become critical for law enforcement of IWT, with a n...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Pangolins (Pholidota: Manidae) are the only group of mammals that have a covering of scales rather than fur, as is more typical for mammals. These secretive, predominantly nocturnal mammals occur at low population densities, are rarely seen, and even more rarely studied. Yet pangolins are extensively used in both Traditional African and Traditional...
Article
The diet of Temminck's ground pangolin Smutsia temminckii (hereafter, pangolin) has thus far been studied only in mesic savannahs. We provide arid-zone dietary data for this species based on direct observations, and compare these to available prey species assemblages. We also report stable carbon and nitrogen isotope enrichment values for liver and...
Article
Traditional medicine has been practised in Ghana for centuries with the majority of Ghanaians still patronising the services of traditional healers. Throughout Africa a large number of people use pangolins as a source of traditional medicine, however, there is a dearth of information on the use of animals in folk medicine in Ghana, in particular th...
Article
Pangolins (Manidae) have long been used for traditional medicinal purposes in most parts of sub-Saharan Africa. However, very little is known about the extent of this use, the body parts that are used and the ailments these practices are attempting to cure or alleviate. Pangolin body parts are used extensively and frequently by traditional medical...
Article
All previous behavioural studies of Temminck's ground pangolins (Smutsia temminckii) have focused on populations in mesic regions. We examined home range size, activity periods, habitat selectivity and refuge site selection of 13 individuals over three years in the Kalahari Desert of South Africa, near the western edge of the species' range. Kernel...
Article
All previous behavioural studies of Temminck’s ground pangolins (Smutsia temminckii) have focused on populations in mesic regions. We examined home range size, activity periods, habitat selectivity and refuge site selection of 13 individuals over three years in the Kalahari Desert of South Africa, near the western edge of the species’ range. Kernel...
Article
Throughout its range, Temminck's ground pangolin, Smutsia temminckii, is becoming increasingly threatened, predominantly as a result of anthropogenic pressures. This species is currently listed as Vulnerable in South Africa and Least Concern globally, although many assessment criteria are data deficient and thus hamper an accurate assessment of its...
Article
Full-text available
The herpetofauna of Mozambique remains poorly documented despite several recent surveys. This paper presents additional distribution records for a number of species from Mozambique, based on recent field excursions and older material at the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History. The new records suggest that a number of taxa are more widely dis...
Article
Full-text available
The White-winged Flufftail Sarothrura ayresi is a poorly known, globally threatened species that only occurs with any regularity in South Africa and Ethiopia. A survey of 13 high-altitude South African wetlands, including nine important sites for the flufftail, was undertaken in the summer of 2013-14 to attempt to assess the flufftail’s current sta...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The 2014 IUCN Red List conservation assessment for the species. The species account is available on the IUCN Red List website at https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/12766/45222929.
Technical Report
Full-text available
The 2014 IUCN Red List conservation assessment for the species. The species account is available on the IUCN Red List website at https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/12762/45222061.
Technical Report
Full-text available
The 2014 IUCN Red List conservation assessment for the species. The species account is available on the IUCN Red List website at https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/12767/45223135.
Technical Report
Full-text available
The 2014 IUCN Red List conservation assessment for the species. The species account is available on the IUCN Red List website at https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/12765/45222717.
Data
Full-text available
The diets of Falco amurensis and F. naumanni were investigated by analysing the respective stomach contents of 64 and 22 individuals killed during a severe thunderstorm in December 2004. Interpretations of diet were made by considering (1) biomass of dietary items and (2) presence/absence of dietary items in the stomachs analysed. A single beetle (...
Article
Full-text available
The herpetofauna of Mozambique remains poorly documented despite recent surveys. We present here the first report on the herpetofauna occurring in Parque Nacional de Banhine in Gaza Province.Four chelonian, 13 snake, one amphisbaenid, 16 lizard and 15 frog species were recorded in the park, while an additional six snake, five lizard and two frog ta...
Article
Full-text available
Turdus smithi, formerly a subspecies of T. olivaceus, has been elevated to species status, resulting in a void in our knowledge on this species. Although both T. smithi and T. olivaceus are common garden birds throughout their ranges, most studies to date have focused on T. olivaceus. These studies found that T. o. olivaceus reach ages in excess of...
Article
Full-text available
New distribution records are provided for four species of amphisbaenians from Northern Cape Province, South Africa. We report on the third South African locality for Dalophia pistillum, representing the first record of the species from the Northern Cape and the most southerly record for the species. An amphisbaenian from the Kgalagadi Transfrontier...
Article
Full-text available
This paper reports on and discusses the findings of a herpetofaunal survey of the San Sebastian Peninsula, Vilankulo, Mozambique. A total of 39 reptile and 20 amphibian species were recorded including new records for Mozambique, range extensions and taxa previously considered endemic to the Bazaruto Archipelago.
Article
Full-text available
The diets of Falco amurensis and F. naumanni were investigated by analysing the respective stomach contents of 64 and 22 individuals killed during a severe thunderstorm in December 2004. Interpretations of diet were made by considering (1) biomass of dietary items and (2) presence/absence of dietary items in the stomachs analysed. A single beetle (...

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Projects

Projects (5)
Project
This project showcases some of the ornithological research that I am undertaking or have concluded, usually in collaboration with various colleagues.
Project
This project showcases some of the reptile research that I am undertaking or have concluded. Research is undertaken either in isolation or in collaboration with various colleagues.
Project
This project aims to further our understanding of pangolin species predominantly in Africa, but also globally. It will also showcase some tools and technical reports that will be useful to pangolin conservation.