Pangolin (Manis temminckii)

Conservation Status

Endangered (EN)

Physical Description

Low, long mammal covered with large brown-grey overlapping scales across its body. Small head with heavy hind quarters and tail, with small forelegs.
Weight 5-15kg
Size 70-100cm long
Lifespan (wild) Unknown
Lifespan (captivity) Unknown


Solitary and mainly nocturnal, occasionally diurnal. When threatened it will either run away, or curl into a tight ball protecting the head and underparts with its tail. Pangolin walk on their hind feet, holding their front legs, with sharp digging claws, up against their body whilst using their tail for balance. They spend most of their time on the ground but are capable of climbing and moving in water.

Social and Reproduction

Pangolin are solitary

Mating System Polygamy (Polgyny)
Breeding interval Unknown, suspected to be once a year.
Breeding season Spring, summer months
Gestation 150 days
Number of offspring Single offspring born in winter months.

Habitat and Food


Range from low to high rainfall areas, including open grassland, woodland and rocky hills, but absent from open desert and forests.


Eats certain species of ants and termites.


Not many animals are able to attack pangolins, so they are mostly left alone. Humans are a prime reason for population declines due to poaching for superstitious and ‘medicinal’ purposes.

Conservation Challenges

Pangolin are heavily hunted and poached for their meat and scales, which are used in traditional medicine and Eastern markets.

Naankuse Solutions

No direct conservation actions are currently being undertaken; however, injured or found pangolin are taken in and rehabilitated and released.


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Pangolin at Naankuse sites