Common Name: Giant Pangolin, Tree Pangolin, Ground Pangolin, Long-tailed Pangolin 

Scientific Name: Smutsia gigantea, Phataginus tricuspis, Manis temminckii, Phataginus tetradactyla

Type: Mammals

Diet: Insectivorous

Average Lifespan in the Wild: 20 years

Size: 12 to 39 in. long depending on the species

Weight: 30 to 40 lb. (Common Pangolin)

Ground Pangolin (Manis temminckii)

Map of Africa- Where Pangolins are Found

Unknown to large portions of the world, pangolin inhabits most of sub-Saharan Africa as well as Southeast Asia. All eight species are classified as threatened with extinction while two of the species closest to the problem are classified as critically endangered. 

The trade in pangolin is prohibited under CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) through the establishment of zero export quotas for wild-caught Asian pangolins traded for primarily commercial purposes. The pangolin is also protected by national and international laws; despite this, it is still the most trafficked animal on the planet with research estimating that over one million pangolins have been poached from the wild and illegally traded in the past decade.

African pangolins are threatened by intensive poaching, hunting and international trade. The pervasive demand for herbal remedies and ‘luxury meat’ in Asia is continuing to drive the continued poaching and trade of pangolins body parts, despite the international ban on their trade. Meanwhile locally pangolin meat is consumed as bush meat and their scales and other body parts are believed to have medicinal properties and are used by local traditional healers as bush medicine.

Habitat loss is also a threat to the species with human-animal conflict often arising and leading to the death of pangolins through pesticide consumption and other human infrastructure such as electric fences.