Tree pangolin

Tree pangolin (Manis tricuspis)

Pangolin à écailles tricuspides

Lounkakou (Vili)

Tree pangolin

The tree pangolin is one of the nine pangolin species found across tropical Asia and Africa. This particular species is distributed across Central and West Africa. While relatively common in the forests of these areas of Africa, the bushmeat trade and traditional medicine are having an impact on its populations, which the IUCN says are declining.

In Asia, pangolin populations have been very hard hit by a lucrative trade in their body parts used in traditional Chinese medicine. Seizures measured in the tons are not uncommon. It seems the traffic towards Asia has begun to touch Africa as well. The genus is found across Asia and Africa, and is listed under Appendix II for CITES.

The species was partially protected in Republic of Congo until 2011 when it was up-listed to being integrally protected along with its close relative, the giant pangolin.

Pangolin sold as bushmeat in between two blue duikers in Sangha, northern Republic of Congo.

Some sources list the genus of this species as Phataginus, while others consider this to be a subgenus of Manis.

Photo credits: Michelle Wieland (above); Naftali Honig (PALF) (below)

For more information about pangolins, watch the video below from the Annamiticus website, which, itself has more information about illegal pangolin trade on a global scale.

Project for the Application of Law for Fauna