Research Alert

Tracking the Illegal Pangolin Trade in Africa’s Gulf of Guinea


  • newswise-fullscreen Tracking the Illegal Pangolin Trade in Africa’s Gulf of Guinea

    Credit: LUCIE ESCOUFLAIRE

Newswise — Each year, WCS scientists author or co-author nearly 300 peer-reviewed studies and papers. “WCS 3 Sentence Science” is a regular tip-sheet – in bite sized helpings – of some of this published work.

1. Populations of Asian pangolins have severely declined, and intercontinental trafficking of African pangolin scales to Asia has emerged in the last decade with coastal countries in the Gulf of Guinea have been highlighted as hotspots of illegal pangolin trade. 
2. Researchers characterize the trade and international trafficking of African pangolins in the coastal countries around the Gulf of Guinea using data across three tiers: which countries were most heavily involved in international trafficking using seizure data; where domestic seizures of pangolins took place, and whether they were seized with other species; and the open sale of pangolins across 20-years at the main wild meat market in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. 
3. They found a total of 55,893 kg of pangolin scales in 33 seizures between 2012 and 2018, with Cameroon and Nigeria being the most common export countries; and a total of 11,207 Phataginus pangolins and 366 Smutsia pangolins were sold between 1997 and 2017 at the Malabo market. 

Study and Journal:  "Characterizing trafficking and trade of pangolins in the Gulf of Guinea"   from  Global Ecology and Conservation 
WCS Co-Author(s):  Drew Cronin , WCS SMART Partnership Manager

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