Project proposal details
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Using community and ranger survey data for pangolin conservation
Eileen Larney, Ph.D.
Project based at
Zoological Society of London
Pangolins are thought to be the worlds most illegally trafficked wild mammals. All eight species are threatened with extinction primarily due to the impacts of overexploitation for the illegal wildlife trade. Although they are trafficked in huge numbers, pangolins are actually extremely difficult to study in the wild as many of the species are primarily nocturnal, arboreal and elusive, meaning that there is a lot of basic information about them that we do not yet know. Pangolins have historically been used by local communities, both as a source of wild meat and for use in Traditional Medicines; community surveys can therefore provide important information into where pangolins are still found, and what the threats that these remaining populations are facing are, as well as giving insights into some aspects of pangolin biology.
This project will use data collected by ZSL Thailands Sunda Pangolin Conservation Project. These data include surveys from villages in two landscapes in Thailand where pangolins are known to still persist to provide local socio-economic community baselines and assess local awareness of pangolin, threats and conservation to inform outreach activities. In addition, surveys of rangers working in these areas give insights into pangolin ecology, populations, and potential threats. The project will aim to further our understanding of local communities and rangers knowledge of pangolins and the threats the species faces. Results will also be compared to outputs from other Local Ecological Surveys to provide suggestions for improvement of survey design that could be applied on a national scale.