Aardvark and Pangolin Research Collaboration

In February 2014 a group of researchers from a number of organizations, including the University of Pretoria, University of the Free State, Tshwane University of Technology, the National Zoological Gardens, E Oppenheimer and Sons and the African Pangolin Working Group, met at the Faculty of Veterinary Science, Onderstepoort, to discuss current and future research related to pangolin and aardvark. The purpose of the meeting was to establish who is currently involved and what research is being done on these two fascinating animals. A number of presentations showed the diversity of research currently being done, which included studies on genetics, disease, demographics, reproduction, ecophysiology and human influences on populations, but also highlighted the dearth of knowledge related to these animals. The main outcome of this meeting was that it put people in contact with each other and a number of collaborations have already been forged where researchers are sharing material, resources and working together to optimise on opportunities to improve our understanding of these enigmatic animals. Another meeting of this group, which will include any other interested parties, will take place later in the year. The objectives of this group, and these meetings, are to strengthen collaborations and facilitate research so that these animals are better understood in order for conservation efforts to be made easier in the future.

For more information please contact Prof Darrell Abernethy or Dr Leith Meyer.

Ground pangolin (Smutsia temminckii), Kalahari

Aardvark (Orycteropus afer)