Project Pangolin

Project Pangolin

Pangolins have become the most illegally trafficked mammal on earth. 

Pangolins have become the most illegally trafficked mammal on earth. These precious and ecologically crucial mammals are vital for our ecosystems. They keep ant and termite populations in check, and in doing so provide vital nutrient recycling back into the soil. This in turn provides a balance so that there is enough organic matter present for growth of new vegetation and to sustain all other wildlife in the food web. Having survived thousands of years of natural changes, they are now on the verge of extinction due to high levels of hunting and poaching for the illicit trade of their meat and scales. Their only weakness is their ingenious evolutionary strength of being hard and scaly. They cannot outrun poachers – they merely rely on rolling into a solid near impenetrable ball for protection. This is not so effective for a predator such as man. To put their plight into perspective, more than 1 million pangolins were brutally murdered for black-market trade in the past 10 years. 

This year Conserv Earth will be focusing on pangolin conservation. This will done by focusing on two key aspects:

  • Rescue and rehabilitation from the wildlife trade.
  • Electric fence modification to reduce the amount of pangolins electrocutions.

To do this, we will be assisting a rehabilitation facility situated in Limpopo, South Africa. The facility is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and safe reintroduction of pangolins that have been confiscated from the illegal wildlife trade, and those that have been injured on electric fences across Southern Africa. The success of the programme relies on reintroducing pangolins into continually monitored and protected areas and tagging them with UHF/VHF and satellite tags. Providing a safe and suitable habitat is crucial for the long-term survival of this vulnerable species. The project will also focus on finding new safe and suitable reserves where pangolins can be released, with the correct electric fence structure and with the right habitats for them to thrive. The project will focus within the Sabi Sand Nature Reserve, and will fit a pangolin friendly buffer fence to keep pangolin and other small creatures away form the electric fence.

The Cost of Rehabilitating a Pangolin

It costs an average of R100 000 per pangolin from time of capture until it is released. This is based on an average period of 6-8 weeks of care, which may be longer or shorter depending on the individual pangolins condition. After release, they are actively monitored for about 12 months before the pangolin “graduates”. 

Cost includes: 

  • Housing for pangolin in a secure room with a crate to sleep in and air conditioner unit, 
  • Food and nourishment, 
  • Two monitoring tags after release for monitoring purposes. One UHF/VHF tag and one satellite tag. These tags cost R40 000 but can be re-used, 
  • Medication that includes CT scans and X-rays to ensure the animal is healthy, 
  • Bloodwork analysis, 
  • Veterinary costs to monitor pangolins condition, 
  • Accommodation for “shepherds” and “walkers”, people who walk the pangolins for about 6 hours a night so that the pangolins can roam free and actively feed by themselves. 

The Cost of The Sabi Sand Nature Reserve Fence

It will cost in total around R1,5 million to R2 million complete this buffer fence. We have started the fence and have done roughly a quarter of what needs to be done. Further fundraising and awareness will allow us to achieve our goal, and stop any electrocutions happening in the future.

How you can help:

Conserv Earth is aiming to raise R1,5 million to R2 million this year to contribute to the recovery and rehabilitation of Pangolins as well as finish the fencing project. This can be achieved through the generous support of you, the donor, in the following ways: 

  • Participation in our annual Golf Day,
  • Hole Sponsorship – R 8 000, Banner Sponsorship – R 4 000, Ball Cost – R10 000,
  • Prize Donations,
  • Pangolin tracking tags: R40 000 (A set of 1 UHF/VHF and 1 satellite tag),
  • Sponsor a Shepherd: R40 000 will cover food, accommodation, equipment & clothing,
  • Pangolin Pledge: R1 000 to R100 000,
  • Foster or adopt a Pangolin: R100 000.
  • Pangolin Buffer fence donation

For information on our payment options, please visit our website,

“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.” 

– Robert Swan 


About Us

Our mission is to restore our natural earth by facilitating sustainable solutions for people and wildlife to coexist, and by connecting people, protected areas, non-profits, the private sector, and individuals to make a greater impact together. 

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