Pangolins at a Glance

Pangolins are solitary, nocturnal insectivores. Their generic species name comes from the Malay word ‘pengguling’ – meaning ‘one who rolls up’.

Their unique scales are formed of keratin, the same material that makes up fingernails, hooves, and the horns of species like rhinos.

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

pangolins being trafficked illegally every day


an average pangolin can consume up to 70 million insects per year!


species of Pangolin. Four Asian and Four African

Pangolin Species and Status

There are eight species of pangolins. The black-bellied, white-bellied, giant ground pangolin, and Temminck’s pangolin are all found in eastern and central Africa, whereas the Indian, Philippine, Sunda and Chinese pangolin are found in Asia.

Of the African species, both the black-bellied and Temminck’s pangolin are considered vulnerable, and the giant ground and white-bellied pangolins are classed as endangered. The Asian species have been targeted more extensively by the illegal wildlife trade, and as a result, all are listed as critically endangered.

It is currently estimated that a pangolin is killed every five minutes, with their meat considered a delicacy and their scales a highly prized component in unsubstantiated medical practices across Asia.

“To enjoy two wild pangolin sightings of this almost mythical creature will be a moment forever etched into my memory. We can never let them become just that.”

Georgina Lamb, CEO, DSWF

Thilo Florian
David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation
David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation
David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation
Thilo Florian
David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation Adopt a Pangolin

Protecting pangolins in the wild.

Pangolins are secretive, elusive, nocturnal animals that we know very little about.

Understanding more about their behaviour, their social dynamics, populations, breeding cycles, and longevity is crucial to putting the right policies and legal protections in place to safeguard their future.

Education and community outreach is also important. We need to engage with farmers and agriculturists to prevent electric fencing trapping, injuring, and killing pangolins. We also need to prevent pangolin habitat from becoming segmented, isolated, or destroyed altogether.

Pangolins need protection on a global scale, with heavy penalties and convictions being secured for any trade in pangolin parts or products. DSWF funds and supports vital projects fighting for the pangolin on every front.

The Pangolin is the most trafficked mammal in the world.

It’s not the kind of list any species wants to be consistently at the top of, but pangolins are considered the most trafficked mammal in the world. It is estimated that over 10 million pangolins have been taken from the wild in the last decade alone. In 2021, at least 23.5 tonnes of pangolins and their parts were trafficked via the illegal wildlife trade*.

All eight species of pangolin are listed on the IUCN’s Red List of threatened species. You can directly help safeguard their future by adopting a pangolin today through DSWF.

*Traffic Org, February 2022

Theo Bromfield
David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation


pangolins being trafficked illegally every day

Pangolin Art

As DSWF has put more and more focus on the plight of the pangolin, we are thrilled to see the species represented in incredible artworks – whether as part of our Wildlife Artist of the Year competition, or in the work of our talented partner artists. From pangolin themed jewellery and sculpture to original paintings and postcards, you’ll find a broad selection in our shop. Every purchase directly funds the vital frontline projects we support.

This is also where you’ll find our ‘Artist of the Month’ and ‘Art for Animals’ special events that often feature specific pieces centred around our chosen species.

How Donating Can Help

We, and the amazing people and projects we fund and support, are dependent on your generous donations. From money raised through sales of artwork donated by our partner artists, to one-off and regular givers, nothing we do can be achieved or maintained without your help.

Your donations put new and vital equipment in the hands (and on the backs) of our ranger teams. Your generosity funds vital research and monitoring – which led to the discovery of giant pangolins in an area where they’d last been seen in 1973. With your help, we even fund secret investigations that expose the illegal trade of pangolin scales in Asia.

We really can’t do any of it without you, so please donate today.

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

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All donations will help us continue our vital work conservation work to protect endangered species and turn the tide on extinction.

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