The pangolin or scaly anteater, Manis temminckii, is a solitary, nocturnal mammal that lives in burrows. Its diet consists mainly of ants and termites which it scoops up with its long, specially adapted tongue. Pangolin populations worldwide are under pressure by hunting and habitat degradation. Thought to be the most trafficked mammal globally, pangolins are listed as ‘vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Happily, many pangolins have been located on Erindi, and VHF tracking transmitters affixed to their scales to enable location and monitoring. As in the case of the aardvarks, information gathered this way includes the time of day that the pangolins are active and what species of ants and termites they target at different times of the year.
Take a thrilling drive through the reserve with the specific goal of tracking pangolin. Sightings are not guaranteed, but if you are lucky to find one, it promises to be a special encounter. Proceeds from this activity go directly into pangolin monitoring and research.
Species facing a high risk of extinction in the wild in the medium-term future. (C1) means the population is estimated at less than 10 000 mature individuals, and that the estimated continuing decline will be 10% within 10 years or three generations, whichever is longer.