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Taking a stand against illegal wildlife trade: the Zimbabwean approach to pangolin conservation

  • Chris R. Shepherd (a1), Ellen Connelly (a2), Lisa Hywood (a2) and Phillip Cassey (a3)
Abstract

Pangolins are increasingly threatened by demand for their scales, which are used in traditional medicines, and for their meat, which is consumed as a luxury. As populations of Asian pangolins decline, the demand is shifting to the four species in Africa, where local cultural use may already pose some level of threat. During 2010−2015 a total of 65 pangolin-related seizures (surrendered and confiscated) were reported in Zimbabwe, with the annual number of confiscations increasing significantly over this period. Zimbabwean authorities have toughened their stance against this trade, and during January−June 2015 three-quarters of confiscations of pangolins (n = 12) resulted in the maximum jail sentence for at least one of the offenders in each case. At present there is no evidence that pangolins are being traded from Zimbabwe to China, and the increased enforcement may be key to ensuring Zimbabwe's pangolins are not threatened by the large-scale illegal trade witnessed in Asia.

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Corresponding author
(Corresponding author) E-mail chris.shepherd@traffic.org
Footnotes
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To view supplementary material for this article, please visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0030605316000119
Footnotes
References
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Oryx
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  • EISSN: 1365-3008
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