Three species of pangolin are native to West Africa: white-bellied pangolin (Phataginuts tricuspis), black-bellied pangolin (Phataginus tetradactyla), and giant pangolin (Smutsia gigantean). These species are historically popular bushmeat items and are consumed locally in a trade that may have been sustainable. Unfortunately, they are now being increasingly removed from West African forests for the trade to Asia, as Asian pangolins have become rare.
We are researching pangolin resource selection (habitat use and prey preference), health and nutrition of wild pangolins, and pangolin utilization by local communities in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana. To get ahead of the curve for pangolin conservation, we’re also working to build the capacity for pangolin research and management in these countries and raising awareness in local communities as a platform for launching a pangolin management strategy.