The Fondation Segré Pangolin Initiative

Timeframe: 2015-2017
Country/Region: Cameroon, Thailand, China
Partner: SOS (IUCN) // Zoological Society of London (ZSL)

All eight species of pangolins are threatened by illegal hunting and poaching for illicit international trade, in particular for their meat, which is considered a delicacy in East Asia, and their scales which are used in traditional Asian medicines. One million pangolins are estimated to have been traded illegally in the last ten years, contributing to population declines of up to 80% in the Asian species and a subsequent increase in inter-continental trade in pangolin parts from African countries to Asian markets.

Although historically neglected, pangolins have received increasing conservation attention since the re-establishment of the IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group, which in 2014 published the first ever Global Pangolin Conservation Strategy. They are also focal species for the United for Wildlife initiative.

This project will implement key conservation recommendations by tackling direct threats to pangolins at priority sites in Cameroon and Thailand, and by initiating research into reducing demand for pangolin products in China, the primary market for the species and their derivatives. Project outputs will underpin efforts to address the underlying drivers of pangolin declines and provide the conservation community with best-practice case studies for on-the-ground protection of pangolins, which can be replicated elsewhere in Africa and Asia.