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Do pangolins have ecotourism potential? Please complete this survey

A ground pangolin in southern Africa, pangolin conservation

A ground pangolin in southern Africa © Christian Boix

Written by Enrico Di Minin

It is a known fact that pangolins have now become a highly threatened species, brought on by the illegal wildlife trade – their meat and scales in high demand on the black market, especially in Asia. According to the IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group, pangolins are now the most illegally traded mammal in the world, with more than one million individuals illegally harvested from the wild.

Effectively conserving species like pangolins is expensive while resources are scarce. Revenue from ecotourism may help generate crucial funding needed for the conservation of the species. However, pangolins are very elusive animals (being mainly nocturnal) and most tourists are unaware of their presence when on safari. As a result, their ecotourism value is mostly unknown.

For that reason, a group of researchers at the University of Helsinki in Finland and the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa is trying to assess the ecotourism value of pangolins in order to inform strategies that can create incentives for their conservation and enhance their persistence in the wild.

The researchers have developed an online survey that will generate important information to support pangolin conservation. All readers of Africa Geographic are kindly invited to fill in the survey, which will only take 10-15 minutes and is completely anonymous.

The link to the pangolin survey:  https://elomake.helsinki.fi/lomakkeet/89645/lomake.html

Thank you for participating!



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