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Open AccessArticle

People’s Knowledge of Illegal Chinese Pangolin Trade Routes in Central Nepal

Himali Conservation Forum, Taplejung 57500, Nepal
Central Department of Zoology, Institute of Science and Technology, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
Center for Integrative Conservation, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Mengla 666303, Yunnan, China
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Pashupati Multiple Campus, Kathmandu 44604, Nepal
Global Wildlife Conservation Center, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, New York, NY 13210, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(12), 4900;
Received: 6 May 2020 / Revised: 10 June 2020 / Accepted: 13 June 2020 / Published: 16 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wildlife Conservation: A Sustainability Perspective)
Chinese pangolin populations are declining globally due to illegal wildlife trades in its range countries, especially China and Vietnam, where the largest markets for this species exist. Identifying the trade routes is crucial for developing conservation plans for the pangolin and understanding the attributes of the individuals involved in the illegal trade. We aimed to identify local trade routes and the socio-economic status of people involved in pangolin trades from the Gaurishankar Conservation Area [a Protected Area (PA)] and the Ramechhap district [a non-Protected Area (non-PA)] of Nepal. We found that pangolin traders were typically poor, illiterate, unemployed, male, and of working age (17–40 years old). Confiscation rates of pangolin parts were higher in non-PAs than Pas as the illegal trade routes seemed to differ between the PAs and non-PAs. From 2014 to 2018, the prices of pangolin scales in PAs and non-PAs increased by 50% and 67%, respectively. Our results highlight locals facilitating the trade of pangolins, therefore we recommend the need for other income generating sources such as ecotourism or providing incentives to promote local industries as well as to establish Community Based Anti-Poaching Units among range countries and trade route countries to control the trade of this globally threatened species. View Full-Text
Keywords: Nepal; pangolin; poor communities; protected area; traders; unemployed; working age group Nepal; pangolin; poor communities; protected area; traders; unemployed; working age group
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Sharma, S.; Sharma, H.P.; Katuwal, H.B.; Chaulagain, C.; Belant, J.L. People’s Knowledge of Illegal Chinese Pangolin Trade Routes in Central Nepal. Sustainability 2020, 12, 4900.

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