Unravelling the pangolin bushmeat commodity chain and the extent of trade in Ghana

Maxwell K Boakye, Antoinette Kotze, Desire Dalton, Ray Jansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pangolins (Pholidota: Manidae) are frequently
hunted as a source of bushmeat in Ghana. However, no information exists with regards to the level of trade of pangolins
outside of major bushmeat market surveys in Ghana. The aim
of this study was to determine the level of trade among other
stakeholders in the bushmeat commodity chain for pangolins
in Ghana. Data were collected from 153 stakeholders using
semi-structured interviews and direct observation between
September 2013 and January 2014. A total of 341 pangolins
were recorded to have been traded in this study period. The
white-bellied pangolin (Phataginus tricuspis) represented
82 % and the black-bellied pangolin (Phataginus tetradactyla)
18 % of the observed pangolins traded by the stakeholders.
Chopbar operators accounted for the highest retailer sales to
consumers. The number of pangolins traded was negatively
correlated to the distance between settlements and protected
forest regions. The levels of pangolin trade were previously
underestimated in Ghana as the pangolin bushmeat commodity
chain does not form the supply chain to the major bushmeat
markets where most surveys were undertaken. The Wildlife
Conservation Act of 1971 (LI 685) that prohibits the hunting
of pangolins can be regarded as ineffective and not serving as a
deterrent to poaching.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-264
JournalHuman Ecology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2016


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