With the unique possibility to monitor
some of the raised and released black-bellied pangolins on a daily basis, we
are able to get precious basic ecology data about this very unknown species,
which lives on trees and seems to be the only diurnal one of the eight pangolin
The main ecological data recorded are about their habitat and behaviour, i.e. preferred tree species, sleeping/hiding places, home range, activity patterns and feeding behaviour (time spent basking/resting, time spent foraging for ants, time spent feeding, preferred ant species) etc.
Some of the ecological data are currently
under publication as a book chapter on Black-bellied Pangolins, co-authored by
Dr. Maja Gudehus and Rod and Tamar Cassidy among others.
We are working on developing an attachable tracking device for black-bellied pangolins, which is challenging due to their relatively small size, the delicate structure of their scales and the density of the vegetation in their habitat.
From past patients – black as well as white-bellied pangolins – we were able to collect important data on weight and other body measurements, which contributes to widening the data base for further research around the world.
A very sad incident in 2019 leading to the death of one of our pangolins ("Pangi") provided us with yet another research opportunity. The cause of her sudden death was determined through a necropsy leading to the potential publication of a case report (currently under revision) which will hopefully help others to prevent such tragic loss.
Faecal analysis with the flotation method (the same method as used in dogs and cats) allows us to get data on different intestinal parasite species (tapeworms, hookworms, roundworms, different protozoa etc.).
Further projects include camera trapping of new areas in order to find out more about habitat and possibly different species, DNA sampling, scale typology as well as ant species determination.
All our research efforts are geared towards increasing knowledge on African pangolin species, ultimately for the purpose to conserve these beautiful, yet little known animals
3 years data on home range and basic ecological behaviour data of 3 black-bellied pangolins.
Objective: Defining the presence /absence of pangolin in the concession by standard transect survey together with traditional Ba'aka counting of pangolin
Case report on a new identified
parasitic infestation of a black-bellied pangolin