|Town/Region||Coastal Savanna Zone, Deciduous Forest Zone, Guinea Savanna Zone, Sudan Savanna Zone|
|Date||23 May 2017|
All three species of African pangolin that occur within Ghana, i.e., the white-bellied pangolin (Phataginus tricuspis), black-bellied pangolin (Phataginus tetradactyla), and the giant ground pangolin (Smutsia gigantea), have been listed as Vulnerable on the recently revised IUCN Red List (IUCN 2014) and was currently up-listed from CITES Appendix II to Appendix I. However, in formulating conservation management plans, attention has focused largely on biological and economic factors with little regard for cultural values influencing demand and supply, especially for pangolins (Challender et al., 2015). Considering the symbolic importance that pangolins occupy in the beliefs and rituals of many tribes in Africa, it is imperative that cultural values be factored in setting conservation management plans for these threatened animals. The unique cultural values attached to pangolins by different tribes needs to be investigated and understood in conservation management planning considering that different tribes have cultural underpinnings that account for their values, including those attached to pangolins. Tribal affiliation has been observed as one of the main factors underlying the differences and similarities in the selection and application of resources (Heinrich et al., 1998; Thomas et al., 2009; Junsongduang et al., 2014). In Ghana, the differences or similarities in cultural values of pangolins by various tribes have not yet been documented.
It is, therefore, necessary to understand the differences and similarities in cultural values about pangolins amongst the indigenous people to assist in assessing the level of threats and identifying conservation management priorities for pangolins. Chopbar operators, traditional medical practitioners, hunter-gatherers and traditional leaders from major tribes in Ghana will be interviewed. The interview questions will focus on utilitarian purposes for pangolin (food and traditional medicine), ethics or intrinsic values (totems, spiritual and religious) and aesthetic or non-use values. Areas with high cultural values for utilitarian purposes will be considered to be a management priority due to the likelihood of pangolins being hunted as opposed to areas with high cultural value for ethics and aesthetic values. The cultural values of various tribes within the six ecological zones of Ghana will be mapped to express the spatial extent of assessing alternative conservation options that will be used in advising government conservation management plans for these mammals deduced from local communities.
Read about Maxwell's previous project http://www.rufford.org/projects/maxwell_kwame_boakye or for more information contact:
Facebook: https://www.africanpangolin.org/ or https://www.facebook.com/pages/African-Pangolin-Working-Group/5134073020...