Sep 2012: Participation in International Research and Conservation

Building on our original contacts in the pangolin research and conservation community, our network of contacts continued to broaden through 2012, notably with:
We have also been participating in pangolin DNA mapping work by supplying samples via Prof. R Jansen for Prof. Antoinette Kotze’s studies at the University of Pretoria. More details follow on the first two listed above:
The African Pangolin Working group was established on 27 June 2011 at an inaugural meeting at Lapalala Wilderness School. The formation of this working group was a response to the escalating anthropogenic threats faced by pangolins. The Group brings together various stakeholders, providing a unified and coordinated approach to the research and conservation of the Cape Pangolin, including identifying gaps in the knowledge of this species’ biology, husbandry or conservation, and implementing research projects to gather these data. We were invited to become honorary members of this activity. Mundulea Research is listed as a project on their website, see: http://pangolin.org.za/projects/
Pangolins are found across Africa and Asia. Two of the eight species are top 100 EDGE mammals: the Sunda pangolin (Manis javanica) and Chinese pangolin (Manis pentadactyla), Both of these are classified as ‘Endangered’ by the IUCN. While very little is known about pangolins and how many are left in the wild, they are being driven towards extinction particularly in South-East Asia by the demand for their scales, traditionally believed as in Africa mistakenly to have healing properties, while their meat is a status 'tonic food' delicacy desired by the wealthier members of China’s growing economy. Recent evidence shows that the Asian demand is now also affecting the African species' conservation. In response to the increase in illegal trade, a new IUCN-SSC (Species Survival Commission) Pangolin Specialist Group was established early in 2012 at the Zoological Society of London. Since the Group’s inception, our Mundulea project has been represented by Dr. D. Shaw, P. Rankin and B Nebe. As members, we have actively been involved in contributing our Namibian knowledge and experience, participating in meetings, discussions and decisions, and helped to organize a meeting in London on 12/6/12.  See http://www.pangolinsg.org/ which lists our work under ‘Current projects’

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