Our latest issue features a special section on pangolin conservation. With camera-trap studies in Kenya, Uganda and Cameroon, and research analysing the trade of pangolins in Nepal and Cameroon, these articles are a vital contribution to efforts to conserve these endearing but highly threatened scaly mammals. In the lead article, Difouo et al. recorded a camera-trap image of the elusive black-bellied pangolin in Cameroon—possibly the first published in the peer-reviewed literature. In the editorial, Matthew Shirley et al. discuss how pangolins, in many ways, epitomize the complexities of conservation. In our Briefly section, we also shine a spotlight on pangolins, including the recent news of a potential ninth species, discovered through DNA sampling of scales seized in China.

The issue also includes a host of Conservation News items and book reviews! Find out more about this issue’s content, including our Editor’s picks, below.

A black-bellied pangolin Phataginus tetradactylaphotographed walking on a log in Deng Deng National Park, Cameroon

A black-bellied pangolin Phataginus tetradactyla photographed walking on a log in Deng Deng National Park, Cameroon (see Difouo et al.).

Pangolin conservation

  • Black-bellied pangolin Phataginus tetradactyla documented in Deng Deng National Park, Cameroon, using camera traps – Difouo et al.
  • Pangolin hunting and trafficking in the forest–savannah transition area of Cameroon – Simo et al.
  • Three spatially separate records confirm the presence of and provide a range extension for the giant pangolin Smutsia gigantea in Kenya – Sandri et al.
  • Targeting burrows improves detection in giant pangolin Smutsia gigantea camera-trap surveys – Matthews et al.
  • Pangolin seizures in Nepal indicate priority areas for conservation interventions – Suwal et al.
  • Illegal pangolin trade in Nepal: a response to Suwal et al. – A. Bashyal

 

Sunda pangolin. Photo: Bjorn Olesen.

Sunda pangolin. Photo: Bjorn Olesen.

Behind the cover

Pangolins are widely hunted for food and for their scales, and all species are categorized as threatened on the IUCN Red List. This section of five articles and the accompanying editorial look at a range of conservation issues and other matters related to pangolins. The cover features the arboreal and diurnal black-bellied pangolin of West and Central Africa, which is categorized as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. By targeting fallen trees and logs with camera traps, the authors of the lead article recorded the black-bellied pangolin opportunistically in Deng Deng National Park in Cameroon. Deploying camera traps that focus on features that are known to be visited by pangolins could be explored as a method for detecting this species. For further details, see pp. 681–682 and 701–735. (Photograph © Angiolo /Adobe Stock).

A black-bellied pangolin. Photo credit: Angiolo / Adobe Stock

A black-bellied pangolin. Photo credit: Angiolo / Adobe Stock

Editorial

Pangolins: epitomizing the complexities of conservation Shirley et al.

In the November editorial, Shirley et al. discuss how pangolins epitomize the complexities of conservation. Although conservation and public interest in pangolins has rocketed over the past decade, there are still major gaps in the knowledge of their biology, ecology, distribution and abundance. Through the growing community of engaged stakeholders there is now an opportunity to better devise and implement solutions to secure the future of these enigmatic species.

‘It is a critical time for us to move pangolins beyond their tagline as the ‘most trafficked wild mammals globally’ to instead become symbols of effective, evidence-informed conservation.’

White-bellied pangolin in its habitat. Photo: Ellie Stones.

White-bellied pangolin in its habitat. Photo: Ellie Stones.

Editor’s picks

  1. Pangolin hunting and trafficking in the forest–savannah transition area of Cameroon – Simo et al.
  2. Support for wildlife consumption bans and policies in China post-Covid-19 – Rizzolo et al.
  3. Satellite-monitored movements of the Amazon River dolphin and considerations for their conservation – Campbell et al.
  4. Conservation actions for the microendemic plant Grazielanthus arkeocarpus (Monimiaceae, Laurales) – Peixoto et al.

Black-bellied Pangolin, Central African Republic. Photo: Angiolo / Adobe Stock.

Covid and conservation

  • Perceived impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on protected area management and conservation outcomes in Mexico – Powlen et al.
  • Support for wildlife consumption bans and policies in China post-Covid-19 – Rizzolo et al.

Other content

  • Secrets of the clouded leopard: abundance, habitat use and carnivore coexistence in tropical forest of Manas National Park, Assam, India – Bhatt & Lyngdoh (blog post here)
  • First confirmed records of white-coat pups of the Endangered Caspian seal Pusa caspica on the coast of Iran – Shirazi et al.
  • Giant panda loan exhibitions in China underdeliver on educating visitors: insights and recommendations for improvements – Yao et al. (blog post here)
  • Status of terrestrial mammals in the Yangambi Landscape, Democratic Republic of the Congo – van Vliet et al.
A rare camera-trap image captures the elusive clouded leopard, providing a fleeting glimpse into its secretive world.

A rare camera-trap image captures the elusive clouded leopard, providing a fleeting glimpse into its secretive world. See Lyngdoh & Bhatt. Photo: Wildlife Institute of India.

Conservation news

  • New IUCN Species Survival Commission Marine Star Specialist Group – George, Böhm & Vincent
  • Launching of the IUCN Species Survival Commission Indonesia Species Specialist Group – Sheherazade et al.
  • Conservation status and priorities for Sulawesi’s unique small mammal fauna – Achmadi et al.
  • New IUCN Species Survival Commission Colombia Fungal Specialist Group – Motato-Vásquez et al.
  • Rediscovery of a tiny plant species reinforces the need to protect Serra do Padre Ângelo in south-east Brazil – Gonella, Rocha & Andrino
  • Mass mortality of bees as a result of improper application of pesticides in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil – Araujo Goebel et al.
  • The contribution of local people to species conservation: the case of the catfish Trichogenes claviger in south-east Brazil – Paulo Silva et al.
  • Conservation Action Plan for two endemic and threatened tree species in Brazilian biodiversity hotspots – Silva, Souza & Verdi
  • Thermal sensors as a potential tool for studying Endangered lion tamarins – Rezende et al.
  • Largest known cat geoglyph in Chile identified as the Endangered Andean cat – Villalobos, Sandeson & Vergara
  • Trade in sperm whale curios in Bali – Chavez, Nijman & Payuse
  • Partula tree snail conservation back on track – Gerlach et al.
  • Saving unique, rare and threatened species in the Ebo Forest, Cameroon, under the imminent threat of logging – Djomo Nana et al.
  • Second ministerial conference on Transboundary Transhumance in Central Africa – Scholte & Luizza
  • Empowering conservation of the Critically Endangered tree Buchanania barberi through an education campaign – Dhyani et al.
  • Conservation of Madhuca diplostemon, a Critically Endangered tree endemic to the Western Ghats, India – Sreekala et al.
  • Protection of degraded Wild Fruit Forest in Tianshan Mountains – Liu et al.
The heavenly hill rat Bunomys coelestis, endemic to Sulawesi and categorized as Endangered on the IUCN Red List (see Achmadi et al.). Photo: Heru Handika.

The heavenly hill rat Bunomys coelestis, endemic to Sulawesi and categorized as Endangered on the IUCN Red List (see Achmadi et al.). Photo: Heru Handika.

Book reviews

  • The Sounds of Life: How Digital Technology is Bringing Us Closer to the Worlds of Animals and Plants
  • The Wolf: Culture, Nature, Heritage

 

Header image credit: Ellie Stones.

Feature image credit: Angiolo /Adobe Stock.



Emma joined the Oryx team in 2022 after completing an MSc in wildlife conservation. She is particularly interested in African wildlife and the wildlife trade, and carried out her MSc research on the impact of wild meat hunting on duiker populations in Central Africa. Prior to her MSc, Emma worked in finance before volunteering at conservation organizations and training as a field guide in South Africa.