Ethnozoological survey of traditional uses of Temminck’s ground pangolin (Smutsia temminckii) in South Africa

Abimbola O. Baiyewu, Maxwell K. Boakye, Antoinette Kotzé, Desiré L. Dalton, Raymond Jansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Pangolins are elusive and threatened mammals, considered the most widely traded mammals on Earth supplying local African and Asian traditional medicine markets. African pangolins are sourced as bushmeat and perceived to cure diverse ailments when body parts are used in traditional medicine practices. Currently, there is no documentation on cultural uses of Temminck’s ground pangolin throughout this mammal’s distribution range in South Africa. We interviewed 344 community members from seven indigenous tribal communities in four provinces overlapping with the distribution of Smutsia temminckii in South Africa; only 191 respondents (55.5%) had any knowledge of the species, its cultural and/or medicinal uses. Pangolin is highly sought after and held in high regard where this mammal’s body parts, particularly scales, blood and fat, are utilized traditionally for treating various physical ailments and spiritual remedies in rural South African communities. This utilization undoubtedly has a significant impact on the population of this threatened species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-325
Number of pages20
JournalSociety and Animals
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 16 Aug 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are very grateful to the Tshwane University of Technology and the National Zoological Gardens for financial support to undertake the fieldwork for this study.

Publisher Copyright:
© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2018.


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