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sunda pangolins

LEAP has long been concerned about the loss of Sabah’s biodiversity and has supported initiatives to conserve threatened and endangered species such as the Critically Endangered Sunda Pangolin (Manis javanica). 


In 2014 LEAP helped initiate the Pangolin Conservation Working Group comprising NGOs and relevant government departments and in September 2017 the Sunda Pangolin was upgraded to a Totally Protected species under Schedule 1 of the Sabah Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997.

LEAP has also supported the work of local pangolin researcher Elisa Panjang (see here) through input into the design and distribution of pangolin conservation awareness materials such as posters and the sharing of news articles in the press.  And to help promote World Pangolin Day on 15th February 2020, LEAP worked with Elisa to highlight the plight of pangolins during its "Ketamu 4 Pangolins" event, a market showcasing local sustainable products and initiatives. Elisa and Sabah Wildlife Department carried out educational activities with local students and engaged with the public through a stall with pangolin information and awareness materials.  

Over recent years dialogues with stakeholders have revealed a need for enhanced veterinary and husbandry practices for confiscated and rescued pangolins including establishing a permanent centre for Sunda Pangolins in Sabah, and increased research and conservation as well as fundraising, education and awareness and enforcement.

Together with Elisa Panjang, and working closely with Sabah wildlife Department, LEAP is also embarking on a new project called the ‘Pangolin Rescue, Rehabilitation & Release (3R) Programme’ which aims to gather expertise and agree protocols for Pangolin Rescue, Rehabilitation and Release manuals/Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs); establish capacity to actually implement rescue, rehabilitation and release of pangolins at facilities in Sabah through the acquisition of equipment and training of staff ; and build public support for pangolin conservation through continued advocacy and outreach. 


While awareness may be slowly increasing about the plight of the pangolin, this is matched by a seemingly undiminished demand for pangolin meat and scales, both domestically and internationally, and with the emergence of zoonotic diseases such as COVID -19 caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the need to stop wildlife trade has never been greater.

LEAP will continue working with relevant stakeholders, including local communities, to secure a future for this wonderful but threatened mammal and its habitats.

April was a busy and exciting month for pangolin conservation in Sabah, with three awareness events in one week!

First off was a visit to SK Moyog in Penampang on 24 th April where 150 students aged from five to 12 years old enthusiastically took part in quizzes and games and shared about their own experiences with pangolins after listening to talks from staff from Lok Kawi Wildlife Park and Elisa Panjang, pangolin researcher and founder and director of Pangolin Aware. LEAP brought along its pangolin jigsaw and colouring activities and donated pangolin posters to the school.

Next up on 27 th April LEAP joined a World Pangolin Day event hosted by the State Library in Tanjung Aru, Kota Kinabalu where school groups and members of the public with their families enjoyed our pangolin puzzle, making pangolin pledges, colouring, quizzes and talks by Elisa and Senior Wildlife Officer Puan Siti Nur’ain Ampuan Acheh of Sabah Wildlife Department as well as other exciting activities.

Then on 30 th April, LEAP participated in a World Pangolin Day event at Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort, Tuaran, where students from four nearby schools and local community representatives attended a fun-filled half-day with informative talks and sharing sessions with Nurain, Elisa and Rasa Ria Reserve staff, and games and displays by LEAP, Sabah Wildlife Rescue Unit and others.

We hope that participants from all these events have a new-found love and appreciation of our precious pangolins and their conservation!

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Elisa with the pupils of SK Moyog showing their support for pangolins!

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Sylvia presenting a prize to one of the pangolin quiz winners.jpg

Sylvia presenting a prize to one of the pangolin quiz winners.

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Children enjoying the giant pangolin jigsaw puzzle challenge at the State Library event.

Future pangolin ambassadors getting up close and personal with soft toy pangolins.

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Copies of the “What to do if you see a pangolin?’ poster being presented to SK Moyog’s Principal.

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Making a pledge for the safe future of Sabah’s pangolins!

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Tuan Soffian bin Abu Bakar, Deputy Director ll of Sabah Wildlife Department presenting a certificate of appreciation to Tuan Weiter, Penampang Fire and Rescue Station Officer after his talk on wildlife rescues.

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Fire and rescue Station staff looking at the LEAP pangolin display in the library.

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Having fun with LEAP’s soft toy pangolin and the pangolin pledge tree.

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Encouraging student participation in the Rasa Ria World Pangolin Day event.

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Pangolin Aware, Sabah Wildlife Department, Wildlife Rescue Unit and Rasa Ria Resort staff together with students and local residents enjoying the World Pangolin Day event on 30th April.


Past Pangolins Events
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