Trenggiling Conservation Program

Due to the demand for the allegedly healing or magical effects of pangolin scales and their meat, pangolins are currently the most trafficked mammals in the world. As a response to the dire situation of pangolins in the wild, conservationists have introduced a conservation program to protect these unique and endangered scaly mammals on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Trenggiling Conservation Program focuses on the native and now critically endangered species living in Sumatra – the Sunda pangolin. The main activities of the program include education and training of local people as well as cooperation with them on the direct protection of pangolins. As part of its work with communities, the program employs former pangolin hunters as field assistants. As a result, they stopped hunting pangolins and other endangered animals, and, on the contrary, they became their ardent protectors. This way of involving local people is really a very effective tool for nature conservation. In addition, a specialized rescue and rehabilitation centre for pangolins is being built in the north of the island, the first of its kind in Sumatra. In the centre, pangolins confiscated from the black market will go through the necessary quarantine and rehabilitation process, the outcome of which should ideally be the release of the recovered individuals back into the wild and a subsequent post-release monitoring. The program has been systematically monitoring a possible locality for their return to the forest and securing it against possible poaching. This mission has been run in cooperation with the main partners of the program, which are the Prague Zoo, Ostrava Zoo, and Olomouc Zoo.