WATCH: Pangolin Reintroduction Project revives the endangered species
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Cape Town - Efforts to reintroduce and rehabilitate the world’s most trafficked mammal, the pangolin, were made possible by the Pangolin Reintroduction Project.
The project was established by the African Pangolin Working Group, Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital, Humane Society International - Africa and Phinda Private Game Reserve to revive the endangered species.
Four expert pangolin conservationists, participated in a panel discussion to address efforts made to protect this endangered animal, including what is being done by andBeyond's conservation team at Phinda Private Game Reserve.
The panel conservationists included andBeyond Phinda private game Reserve Ecologist and Conservationist Craig Sholto-Douglas, Ecological monitor Charlie Defos, Wildlife Rehabilitation Specialist, African Pangolin Working Group Executive Director Nicci Wright and African Pangolin Working Group Founder and Chairperson Ray Jansen.
“In 2019 alone, over 60 tonnes of scales were recovered before leaving the African continent, that means 190 000 pangolins would have been poached that year, and that's only the ones that were recovered,” said Sholto-Douglas.
Reserve Ecologist and Conservationist Craig Sholto-Douglas said pangolins were the most trafficked mammal in the world and have been locally extinct in the northern Kwa-Zulu Natal area for close to four decades.
Sholto-Douglas said the Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital and African Pangolin Working Group were looking into the feasibility of using the Phinda Game Reserve as one of the release sites for pangolins that have been poached and then recovered from the illegal wildlife trade by the SAPS and the African Pangolin Working Group and Sting operation.
“The biggest challenges have been trying to understand their ecology, their behaviour, what ants and termite species they feed on but overall it's been worth it because I think we now have a viable breeding population of pangolins,” said the Conservationist.
Anyone interested in donating towards the project Pangolin Reintroduction Project can find more details on this website: https://www.givengain.com/cc/pangolin-reintroduction-programme/
Videos: Armand Hough/African News Agency