How can I not talk about the world’s most illegally trade mammal on this trip? they are on the island of Borneo, therefore we are going to talk briefly about Pangolins. Don’t ask what a Pangolin is because I know you know – they are the world’s only truly scaly mammals and their unique behaviors include scooping up ants and termites with their incredibly long, sticky tongues and curling up into a ball when threatened. There are 8 species of Pangolin on this planet of ours, 4 in Africa and 4 in Asia.
Here in Borneo you would find, if you can find one, the Sunda Pangolin. Even more importantly you would find our Pangolin researcher and Conservation Associate Elisa Panjang who works out of the Danau Girang Field Centre we are stationed at currently. Both Elisa and I are members of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Pangolin Specialist Group http://www.pangolinsg.org/ whose role is to outline critical actions and a conservation strategy required to protect pangolins in the wild.
Elisa uses a multidisciplinary approach, including sign surveys, camera trapping, satellite telemetry, and community survey to collect information on the Sunda pangolin. The objectives of the research are threefold: to identify habitat suitability and ecological niches for Sunda pangolin; to determine the species home range; and to determine the movements in a fragmented and degraded landscape. Upon completion of the study, the results of the research will be included in a Sunda Pangolin State Action Plan. Aside from research work, Elisa is also focusing on public education, raising awareness and producing educational materials together with the Sabah Wildlife Department and other organizations
For more information on Elisa and her program, link here for a recent blog http://www.pangolinsg.org/2016/11/16/pangolin-work-in-sabah-malaysia/