Utilization of pangolins in Africa: Fuelling factors, diversity of uses and sustainability

  • Durojaye A
  • Olufemi A
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Pangolins have attracted considerable attention in recent times due to their high rank in international trade. Whole carcass or body parts of extant pangolin species were used for many purposes which include: food, as a complementary protein source; in traditional medicinal preparations, and as ornaments. Factors responsible for the continued exploitation of pangolins were: low cost and very short time needed to acquire skills required for hunting; little or no further processing before the animals are disposed; high profit margins; general ignorance about conservation status and non- enforcement of the laws governing their trade. Traditional African medicinal practices believed that pangolins have a lot of medicinal, magical or mystical properties, sometimes requiring juvenile and pregnant female animals often rationalising exploitation as more important than conservation. Substituting other animals for pangolins is not always feasible because the possible substitutes were of greater conservation concerns. Local and intercontinental trade in pangolins also created a major challenge to the survival of remaining populations. Available evidence suggested the conservation status of six pangolin species (all four African and two Asian species) is growing worse. There is a need to determine the sizes of isolated populations across their ranges in the region.




Durojaye, A. S., & Olufemi, A. S. (2016). Utilization of pangolins in Africa: Fuelling factors, diversity of uses and sustainability. International Journal of Biodiversity and Conservation, 7(1), 1–10. https://doi.org/10.5897/ijbc2014.0760

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