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Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Local Knowledge and Use of Pangolins by Culturally Diverse Communities in the Forest-Savannah Transition Area of Cameroon
Author(s): Mouafo, Alain D T
Ingram, Daniel J
Tegang Pagning, Romaric
Nfor Ngwayi, Itoe Constantine
Mayaka, Theodore B
Keywords: bushmeat
local ecological knowledge
wild meat
Issue Date: 2021
Date Deposited: 5-Jul-2021
Citation: Mouafo ADT, Ingram DJ, Tegang Pagning R, Nfor Ngwayi IC & Mayaka TB (2021) Local Knowledge and Use of Pangolins by Culturally Diverse Communities in the Forest-Savannah Transition Area of Cameroon. Tropical Conservation Science, 14, Art. No.: 194008292110281.
Abstract: Information about the presence and population status of pangolins, and the threats they face, remains limited in many parts of Cameroon, a country that is home to three species of pangolin and considered to be a global hub of pangolin trafficking. Local communities living in rural areas can provide valuable information on species presence, local uses of wildlife, and possible threats, that is useful for prioritising conservation actions. Using interview surveys in 20 villages surrounding Mbam and Djerem National Park, we investigated local peoples’ knowledge of pangolin presence, perceptions of population trends, cultural importance, consumptive and non-consumptive uses, and hunting of pangolins. Our results showed that most people recognised the white-bellied and giant pangolins, but only 10% recognised the black-bellied pangolin. Ethnolinguistic group significantly affected the likelihood of respondents recognising and having seen a pangolin before. Giant pangolin populations were perceived to be declining, particularly by older respondents. We found evidence of local use of pangolins for meat, but few respondents reported uses of scales. Cultural significance was reported by few respondents, but when it was reported it mostly referred to giant pangolin. White-bellied pangolins are reportedly hunted using bare hands for local consumption most frequently, whilst giant pangolins were mainly hunted for local consumption and income generation using wire snares. Overall, our study shows the possible value of local knowledge for planning and prioritising conservation actions for pangolins. We highlight the urgent need to monitor pangolin populations, and assess the possible impacts to pangolins from threats such as hunting.
DOI Link: 10.1177/19400829211028138
Rights: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License ( which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (
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