Pelorus Foundation Protects Endangered Pangolins in Southern Africa as Species Risks Extinction
World Pangolin Day celebrated February 18
Austin, Texas (February 3, 2023): Pelorus Foundation is pleased to announce a new grassroots partnership with Namibia-based Pangolin Conservation and Research Foundation (PCRF) as the two organizations celebrate World Pangolin Day on February 18. Working to raise awareness of the plight of the pangolins and promote the innovative conservation solutions being implemented to ensure their survival, Pelorus Foundation is on a mission to save this creature from the brink of extinction. As World Pangolin Day helps build awareness of this remarkable creature, Pelorus Foundation has launched an urgent appeal for funds to help protect pangolins in Southern Africa.
This pangolin project is working to protect pangolins from wildlife crime in Southern Africa, while gaining valuable data about their survival, ecology, and behavior, helping to inform crucial conservation management planning and strategies. Known as the world’s most trafficked mammal, an estimated one million pangolins were poached in the last decade. These gentle creatures are often hunted for their meat, which is considered a delicacy in some cultures, and for their scales, which are used in traditional medicine. The loss of pangolins not only means the loss of a unique and important species but the loss of the ecosystems they play a crucial role in.
Justine Williams, Head of Pelorus Foundation said, "Time is of the essence, and that is why we are acting now to help protect these remarkable creatures, who are so essential to our biodiversity.” Pelorus encourages travelers worldwide, as well as its own clients to support the cause through charitable donations. For donors interested, Pelorus may have the opportunity to visit the project on future visits to Namibia.
Pelorus Foundation’s local project partner, PCRF works predominantly with the San Bushmen, indigenous hunter-gatherers in the Nyae Nyae Conservancy, by employing them as pangolin rangers to help monitor and protect pangolins in their communities. The program also supports post-release monitoring of live confiscated pangolins across Namibia. This work aims to engage the local community to protect pangolins through sustainable livelihoods and pride, and while doing so, builds up one of the world’s most established databases on the preferences of pangolins in the wild. When translated into action, stories from the field display the impact Pelorus Foundation’s project partners are having on altering the trajectory of pangolins' looming extinction.
Kelsey Prediger, the Founder of PCRF, recalls a recent success, “Some traditional hunters came across a pangolin while looking for food and were going to eat it. Some of the other villagers had heard about our project and stopped them and then they called us. Our ranger team was able to go up and talk with the community about the importance of pangolins and tag the animal for its monitoring. The community is very excited to become a part of the project protecting and researching pangolins. We hope to raise enough money to employ another ranger in this village to protect and monitor the animal even further. This pangolin is also the first we have tagged in an entirely new habitat of Broadleaf Tree and shrub savanna, specifically Northeastern Kalahari Woodlands with interspersed dunes!”
The involvement of local communities in the projects Pelorus Foundation supports is also an intrinsic element of PCRF. In 2022, eleven rangers across six different villages, with their families were supported through food and clothing packages. The ranger jobs also provide sustainable livelihoods in an area where job opportunities are scarce. By offering employment, and education at all levels, the local community is encouraged to see the value in conservation and the benefits it can bring, working to nurture a generation of pangolin protectors. Providing sustainable livelihoods in remote areas is essential to reduce the poaching of wildlife. Especially with the high unemployment rate following the COVID-19 pandemic, employment in natural areas has a positive impact on conservation.
In 2022, Pelorus Foundation’s project partner saw the release of 10 live confiscated pangolins, the monitoring of 20 free-roaming pangolins, and the tagging of five free-roaming resident pangolins. Pangolin conservation remains crucially undeveloped and underfunded, and the world is at serious risk of the pangolin becoming extinct before they’ve been given a chance to thrive.
Donations to help protect pangolins can be made at http://www.pelorusfoundation.org/pangolin.
About Pelorus Foundation:
Pelorus Foundation is an independent charity committed to protecting, preserving, and promoting at-risk wildlife and environments. The Foundation works together with local partners on the front lines of conservation and environmental protection, providing crucial support to protect and defend endangered species and habitats. Through targeted donations, sharing of knowledge, and expertise, Pelorus Foundation enables its partners to continue to carry out vital work and maximize impact. From fighting wildlife crime in Africa to pioneering marine research in the Red Sea, Pelorus Foundation is driven by the immense power of collective action and community involvement.
Pelorus creates tailor-made travel and yachting experiences that seek to transform our perspective of the world and our impact on the planet. Founders Jimmy Carroll and Geordie Mackay-Lewis are ex-British army captains and bring their experience leading British reconnaissance units on long-range desert patrols and helicopter operations to their truly custom trips. The knowledge and skills they forged during these years lay the foundations upon which Pelorus is built. They endeavor to meet clients’ wildest aspirations using their global network of contacts and an extensive level of research. In a time when genuine escape is hard to find, Pelorus is taking a new and exciting approach to the travel and yachting sectors.
About Pangolin Conservation and Research Foundation:
PCRF works to ensure a sustainable future for pangolins through conservation, research, awareness and education, guidelines, and local empowerment in southern Africa. Conservation efforts include active field research and study, working with partners to inform policy and conservation guidelines, and working within communities to raise awareness and prevent further harm. PCRF was founded to fill a gap in the conservation efforts of pangolins with a focus on research-informed conservation planning and increased awareness. We work across boundaries to observe, to inform, and to protect pangolins. Currently, our projects focus on the Temminck’s pangolin across multiple countries but we hope to expand to help all African species.
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