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Namibia plagued by lack of data on pangolin growth and mortality rates: – Report

Namibia plagued by lack of data on pangolin growth and mortality rates: – Report

A national report on Wildlife Protection and Law Enforcement released recently said that Namibia has inadequate data about the Temminck’s ground pangolin’s distribution, density, and the impact poaching has on the population.

The Temminck ground pangolin is one of the four species found in Africa and the only species in southern Africa.

According to the report, only discovered carcasses of pangolins give a relative indication of the extent of poaching. Still, it is not known how many occur in Namibia nor how many are successfully trafficked out of the country.

“The situation is worsened by the lack of national data on pangolins’ growth rate and mortality. It is currently not known how the contribution of poaching and other environmental hazards such as road killing and electrocutions along electrical fences are affecting the population,” the report states.

A better understanding of the diverse factors affecting pangolin conservation is vital for their protection, the report stated adding that, pangolins are critically endangered and illegally trafficked the most in the world and Namibia for their scales that are used for medicine in China.

The Namibia Pangolin Working Group which was established in 2020 is conducting research to understand better the biology, population dynamics, and distribution of the local pangolin population as well as the drivers and impacts on the population, the report stated.

According to the report that was published by the Ministry of Environment, Forestry, and Tourism, in 2021, 320 dead and 129 live pangolins were seized while 640 suspects were arrested and 166 were convicted.


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