Biodiv Sci ›› 2022, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (6): 22106.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2022106

• Original Papers: Animal Diversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Distribution and conservation status of Chinese pangolin (Manis pentadactyla) in Jianfengling, Hainan

Wenbo Yan1,2, Yanni Mo3, Zhigao Zeng2,*(), Shaoliang Xue4, Qi Wang1, Chunsheng Liang4, Zhuli Huang4, Wen Luo4, Daye Liu4, Shiqin Mo4, Xiaoguang Li4, Lu Liang4, Kunpeng Du4   

  1. 1. Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Bio-Resources, Shaanxi University of Technology, Hanzhong, Shaanxi 723001
    2. Key Laboratory of Animal Ecology and Conservation Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101
    3. Forestry Department of Hainan Province, Haikou 570100
    4. Jianfengling Branch Bureau of Hainan Tropical Rain Forest National Park Service, Ledong, Hainan 572542
  • Received:2022-03-09 Accepted:2022-05-05 Online:2022-06-20 Published:2022-06-02
  • Contact: Zhigao Zeng


Aims: The Chinese pangolin (Manis pentadactyla) has been recently listed as a Class-I National Key Protected Species in China, assessed as Critically Endangered (CR) by the IUCN Red List, and included in the CITES Appendix I. Understanding the population status, spatial distribution, and habitat requirements of endangered species is paramount to their conservation. The paucity of pangolin distribution data is of urgent concern in the formulation of conservation planning and action for this species. Therefore, this study will evaluate the distribution and conservation status of the Chinese pangolin in the forestry district of the Jianfengling, Hainan.
Methods:Pangolin activity was monitored using 124 infrared wildlife cameras set in 122 kilometer grids and performing 364 line transects set in 182 grids, respectively, in the Jianfengling forestry district from August 2020 to November 2021.
Results: The study area was divided into the park core and the peripheral zone. Eight infrared cameras captured 10 pangolin photos and 35 foraging burrows were found in 11 grids in the Jianfengling forestry district. Pangolin camera sightings and burrows were most prevalent in the Nanzhong area. In the peripheral zone, pangolins were captured by three cameras and 18 burrows were found. Pangolin activity was mainly distributed from 400 to 1,000 m elevation.
Conclusion: This study indicated that wild pangolins still exist in the Jianfengling forestry district and that human disturbance was a key factor impeding pangolin population restoration. We suggest that the national park management measures to minimize human-wildlife conflict. Park management should also strengthen the conservation of areas utilized by pangolins and prevent construction activity therein. Furthermore, we recommend expanding the core protected area of the national park to better match pangolin distribution. Further research on pangolin habitat suitability and habitat corridors research in the Jianfengling forestry district is also urgently needed. It remains unknown that size and structure of the pangolin population in the study area. Therefore, regular monitoring and protection are required to understand the health of this population in the future. Additionally, further research is required for pangolin population size and distribution on Hainan Island to better understand the population health of this critically endangered species and to inform future conservation strategies.

Key words: Chinese pangolin, Jianfengling, population, distribution, conservation, national park