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African pangolins under increased pressure from poaching and intercontinental trade

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... Studies have pointed out that pangolin meat, scales, and various body parts 1 (such as leather) are in high demand in both international and domestic markets, yet often for different purposes (Challender & Hywood 2012;Heinrich et al. 2017;Ingram et al. 2018). Different labels could be found associated with the same pangolin product under different scenarios. ...
... At the same time, seizures involving Chinese pangolins decreased while seizures of other Asian pangolin species increased CITES 2019). Later, African pangolins started to appear in intercontinental seizures more since 2008: their number and the number of products seized has increased each subsequent year (Challender & Hywood 2012;Heinrich et al. 2016) China has been identified as an important player in this extensive global network of illegal pangolin trade (Figure 1.2). Many such seizures are destined for China which sometimes is also found to be a source country providing large numbers of pangolin body parts, for example, leather products or medicine containing pangolin-origin materials, to the USA and other countries (Figure 1.2) (Heinrich et al. 2017). ...
... To control poaching, it is critical to understand the trade flow from suppliers to consumers and identify weak points within. Based on such information, conservation strategies could be better formulated to target and disrupt the market and then reduce poaching in the long-term (Sutton 1995;Graham-Rowe 2011 Evidence has suggested that poaching of pangolins is mostly driven and sustained by large and long-lasting market demand Challender & Hywood 2012;Soewu & Sodeinde 2015;Heinrich et al. 2016;Ingram et al. 2018;. ...
Thesis
The demand for wildlife products around the world is growing rapidly according to various researches. As a result, trade in, and consumption of, wildlife products has become a major threat to global biodiversity. Pangolins are currently recognised as one of the most trafficked mammalian taxa globally, due to the high international and local demand for their products. Many recognize China as one of the biggest markets for pangolin products. Thus, its role in tackling illegal pangolin trade is a crucial responsibility for China globally. However, pangolin trade and markets in China have been little investigated in any holistic and in-depth way. My study uses social science approaches and aims to provide insights on pangolin trade and markets in China to help suggesting more effective conservation interventions. Literature, regulations, and seven online trade platforms related to pangolin trade and conservation were searched and relevant data were collected to provide background knowledge of current pangolin trade and markets in China. Fieldwork was conducted in the two Chinese provinces of Henan and Hainan from Sept 2016 to Apr 2017. Questionnaire surveys, semi-structured interviews, in-depth discussions with stakeholders along the pangolin trading chain were the main social science methods used in this research. Market Reduction Approaches (Schneider 2008) and Theory of Planned Behaviour (Ajzen 1991) were used as theoretical frameworks to design the research questions. One pangolin hunter, 131 individual villagers, four villager groups (four to ten people per group), 34 reserve workers, two pangolin meat dealers, four pangolin meat consumers, five restaurant owners, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practitioners in 41 hospitals, sellers in 134 pharmaceutical shops, two TCM wholesalers, and 2168 members of the general public were interviewed or surveyed in this study. Results show that illegal pangolin trade is widespread in the two study provinces of mainland China, especially in TCM markets, which were active both online and offline. The wild pangolin populations on Hainan Island still face threats from poaching and local demand for wildmeat. The main contributors to the widespread illegal trade were the lack of adequate law enforcement; poor awareness of trade related regulations among public and some key stakeholders; and the absence of certain key stakeholders in pangolin conservation process, such as the TCM community. Through this study, I suggest enforcement could be strengthened through increasing public participation in the process, in ways of reporting illicit trade and products. This requires enhancing public knowledge and awareness on pangolin trade and related regulations. On the other hand, to deal with the lack of representation of TCM community in pangolin conservation, their unique function and role in the overall conservation blueprint needs to be highlighted and targeted interventions are needed. In summary, achieving effective pangolin conservation in China needs close collaboration between all key stakeholders to correspondingly address the multiple types of demand on pangolin products. Methodology and insights from this study can also contribute to helping conservation in China or globally, and not only for pangolins, but for other threatened species as well.
... L'exploitation commerciale est le facteur clé du déclin rapide des populations d'espèces des pangolins d'Asie au cours des dernières décennies (Mambeya et al., 2018). Sans surprise, cela a entraîné une augmentation du commerce international et un trafic de pangolins africains en Asie, principalement pour leurs écailles (Challender & Hywood, 2012;Challender & Waterman, 2017). ...
... L'exploitation commerciale est le facteur clé du déclin rapide des populations d'espèces de pangolin d'Asie au cours des dernières décennies (Mambeya et al., 2018). Sans surprise, cela a entraîné une augmentation du commerce international et un trafic de pangolins africains en Asie, principalement pour leurs écailles (Challender & Hywood, 2012 ;Challender et Waterman, 2017). Au Gabon, les travailleurs asiatiques de l'industrie achètent des pangolins directement à des chasseurs (Mambeya et al., 2018). ...
... knowing their distribution and locating them according to Maurice, et al. [11]. In Zimbabwe, there is no data to explain its distribution as well as their favorable conditions for survival [7]. Furthermore, pangolins are predominantly solitary, nocturnal animals that become more active during the night rendering diffi cult to determine their distribution and abundance can be underestimated. ...
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The Smutsia temminckii is the only species of pangolin known to exist in Zimbabwe and is considered vulnerable under the IUCN Red List of threatened species. Distribution of wild S. temminckii in protected areas (PAs) and associated environmental variables are not well defined in Zimbabwe. The study sort to relate key environmental variables (Altitude, rainfall, temperature and vegetation type) to habitat occupancy and distribution of S. temminckii. Data was collected from forty-eight stations based on S.temminckii sightings historical records spanning ten years (2011-2021) done by field rangers, tourists and scientific services research personnel. A review of available literature was done from online sources and station records. A distribution map based on S. temminckii sightings across various PAs in Zimbabwe was developed for this study. Results of this study reveal that S. temminckii occupy PAs in South East low-veld areas, Northwestern Zimbabwe, Mid Zambezi Valley and Nyanga NP. No historical data on S. temminckii sighting in central PAs located in ecological regions IIa, IIb and III of Zimbabwe. Climatic conditions associated with S. temminckii distribution, except for Nyanga NP, are average temperatures above 220C and rainfall between 400mm to 900mm per annum. Landscapes ideal for S. temminckii habitat occupancy have an altitude between 262m-2000m above sea level. Associated vegetation types for habitat occupancy of S. temminckii are the Zambezian and mopane woodlands as well as montane forest grasslands mosaic of Nyanga NP. Future studies should focus on establishing distribution of S. temminckii outside PA, population status and density to inform conservation of this rare and unique species around Zimbabwe.
... However, illegal trade of wild pangolins is still a serious concern, mainly in Asia (Heinrich et al., 2016). Because the abundance of the four Asian pangolin species has decreased significantly, African pangolins have become the focus of illegal trafficking (Challender et al., 2014b;Challender and Hywood, 2012). In addition, habitat destruction caused by human activities has resulted in a discontinuous distribution of pangolins and a sharp decline in wild populations, making pangolins critically endangered globally (Wu et al., 2002). ...
Article
Global climate change caused by fossil energy consumption is strongly threatening the species diversity of mammals. In particular, changes in temperature and precipitation have affected the habitat of pangolins. Thus, we employed the MaxEnt modeling approach to simulate the potential habitat distribution of pangolins under the current climate and future climate change scenarios during 2081–2100. The habitats of the two Phataginus pangolins were mainly affected by temperature and precipitation. Conversely, geomorphological factors mainly affected the habitat of pangolins in the genus Smutsia. Under the SSP5–8.5 scenario, the habitat of Smutsia gigantea increased by 460.8 Mha, while that of Smutsia temminckii decreased by 89.4 Mha. Temperature and altitude affected the habitat of Manis crassicaudata, while vegetation coverage affected the habitat of Manis javanica. Moreover, human activities threatened the habitat of pangolins in Africa and India. However, labor transfer in southern China weakened the negative effects of human activities on the survival of pangolins in rural regions. Due to the lack of uniform intergovernmental schemes regarding global pangolin protection, the illegal pangolin trade threatens pangolin species worldwide, especially in Africa. From current to future scenarios, climate change increased the habitats of Manis crassicaudata, Manis javanica, Smutsia gigantea and Phataginus tetradactyla, while the habitats of Manis pentadactyla and Smutsia temminckii were threatened. Moreover, the total habitat area of the pantropical distribution zone in the Southern Hemisphere (26°S–33°S) decreased, mainly due to the extensive reduction in Smutsia temminckii habitat. The habitat of the pantropical zone in the Northern Hemisphere (19°N–28°N) basically remained unchanged. Increases in the habitat of the tropical distribution zone (11°S–17°N) were dominated by habitat gains for Smutsia gigantea. These findings provide scientific evidence to support global pangolin protection.
... Nigeria's involvement in the global illegal pangolin trade, probably first documented in 2012 (Challender and Hywood, 2012), has changed from the trade origin of pangolin shipments to East Asia (Gomez and Leupen, 2016) to a more complex and dynamic role of receiving and possibly stockpiling pangolin derivatives obtained from Central and other West African countries, prior to large-scale shipment to Asia. Almost all the reported seized shipments were of scales, most of which have recently been transported by sea; a change from air transport, which was more common in 2010-2015 (Gomez and Leupen, 2016;Heinrich et al., 2017). ...
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The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) prohibits commercial trans-national trade in pangolin specimens. However, African pangolins are continually trafficked to Asia for traditional medicine, with Nigeria considered a key hub. Using reported Nigeria-linked pangolin seizure data and interviews with Nigerian law enforcement officials, we a) characterised Nigeria's involvement in global pangolin trafficking January 2010–September 2021, particularly observing trafficking trends after pangolin's CITES Appendix I listing; b) estimated the minimum number of pangolins whose scales are in Nigeria-linked seizures January 2010–September 2021, and; c) assessed ongoing efforts within Nigeria to curb pangolin trafficking. Nigeria-linked seizures involved 190,407 kg of pangolin derivatives (99.9% scales) from a minimum of 799,343 pangolins (95% confidence interval; 625,944-996,353) of four species (see caveats in Methods). All shipments confiscated in transit were destined for Asia, with a rapid increase in the mass of maritime shipments over time. Furthermore, stockpiling of pangolin derivatives for overseas shipment is perhaps a prominent trafficking model in Nigeria. Nigeria's law enforcement efforts improved from 2017, the same year Nigeria apparently began playing a hub role. The impact of pangolin's CITES Appendix I listing on pangolin trafficking was unclear, as the marked rise in seizures from 2017 when the listing became effective, coincided with improvements in Nigerian law enforcement efforts. COVID-19–induced travel restrictions likely reduced trafficking activities in 2020 but activities may have fully resumed in 2021. This study provides new information to inform effective enforcement and policy formulation efforts to protect African pangolins.
... These apparent benefits have caused significant overexploitation in pangolins over the last few decades (Fig. 2) (Chaber et al., 2010;Challender & Hywood, 2012;Challender et al., 2020;Chin & Pantel, 2009;D'Cruze et al., 2018;Harrington et al., 2018;Heinrich et al., 2016;Katuwal et al., 2017;Mohapatra et al., 2015;Nijman et al., 2016;Zhang et al., 2017). Pangolins are vulnerable to overexploitation due to their low population densities and low rates or reproduction Mahmood et al., 2014Mahmood et al., , 2015Pietersen et al., 2014;Zhang et al., 2016). ...
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Despite the immense impact of wildlife trafficking, comparisons of the profits, costs, and seriousness of crime consistently rank wildlife trafficking lower relative to human trafficking, drug trafficking and weapons trafficking. Using the published literature and current events, we make the case, when properly viewed within the context of COVID-19 and other zoonotic diseases transmitted from wildlife, that wildlife trafficking is the most costly and perhaps the most serious form of trafficking. Our synthesis should raise awareness of the seriousness of wildlife trafficking for humans, thereby inducing strategic policy decisions that boost criminal justice initiatives and resources to combat wildlife trafficking.
... La demande accrue pour la médecine traditionnelle chinoise a fait des pangolins le mammifère le plus victime de la traite dans le monde, ont martelé Trageser et al. (2017) L'exploitation commerciale est le facteur clé du déclin rapide des populations d'espèces de pangolin d'Asie au cours des dernières décennies (Mambeya et al., 2018). Sans surprise, cela a entraîné une augmentation du commerce international et un trafic de pangolins africains en Asie, principalement pour leurs écailles (Challender & Hywood, 2012 ;Challender & Waterman, 2017). Au Gabon, les travailleurs asiatiques de l'industrie achètent des pangolins directement à des chasseurs (Mambeya et al., 2018). ...
Thesis
La thèse consiste à donner les informations préliminaires sur les différentes formes d'exploitation des pangolins et leurs produits derivés par les riverains du Parc national de Kahuzi-Biega, en RD Congo
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The four writings compiled for this project involve explorations into the complex relationship between Zimbabweans and their land. The current struggles in Zimbabwe over land seizure and resettlement make this a particularly timely and noteworthy theme. The first piece, "Tshaya, Indoda," is a screenplay looking at the dynamic relationship between a white safari operator and black subsistence farmers who live in nearby communal farming lands. The disputes and issues discussed in this piece are very realistic and awareness is raised as to the historical nature and racial dimensions of the current land disputes in Zimbabwe. "Dubious," the second piece, is in the style of magic realism and explores the impact that safari operators and tourists can have on the natural environment and indigenous populations. This piece provides a rather satirical and fantastical approach to several philosophical and ethical issues concerning land, natural resources, resource consumption, sense of place, and sense of personal fulfillment. In the third piece, "Ants, Spirits, and Magic: Three Encounters with the Pangolin," a more anthropological and technical tone is utilized to address the issue of Zimbabwean property and resource-rights, as well as the significance of the pangolin as the ultimate symbol of human attachment to land. The last piece, entitled "The Bush," is an account of my personal adventures and discussions with four non-fictional characters who all perceive the same environment through decidedly different lenses. The characters consist of a poacher, a safari operator, an independent wildlife researcher, and a Shona rock sculptor. The purpose of this compilation of writings is isolate some of the dilemmas and issues occurring in the Zimbabwe land crisis and try to explain the historical and cultural dinamics of these tensions concerning the land.