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Accueil du site → Master → Afrique du Sud → 2016 → Ethnozoological survey of the traditional uses of Temminck’s ground pangolin (Smutsia temminckii, Smuts 1832) within south African tribal communities falling in the species distributional range.

Tshwane University of Technology (2016)

Ethnozoological survey of the traditional uses of Temminck’s ground pangolin (Smutsia temminckii, Smuts 1832) within south African tribal communities falling in the species distributional range.

Baiyewu, Abimbola Olayinka

Titre : Ethnozoological survey of the traditional uses of Temminck’s ground pangolin (Smutsia temminckii, Smuts 1832) within south African tribal communities falling in the species distributional range.

Auteur : Baiyewu, Abimbola Olayinka

Université de soutenance : Tshwane University of Technology

Grade : Magister Technologiae Environmental Management 2016

Résumé
Pangolins are evolutionarily distinct in that they are the only representatives of an entire mammalian order, the Pholidota. Temminck’s ground pangolin (Smutsia temminckii) is one of the four extant African pangolin species. It is a medium-sized mammal commonly called a scaly anteater and is of the family Manidae. They are considered to be very rare in South Africa and believed to be declining in most parts of their range and this species was recently up-listed to Vulnerable from Least Concerned by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (ZSL & IUCN, 2014 ; IUCN, 2015). Pangolins are solitary animals that are revered in most South African communities because of their believed mystical powers and economic values. It is further believed that there is an extremely high demand for the species for traditional medicine purposes throughout southern Africa based on their perceived ability to cure a diverse number of ailments making use of the various pangolin body parts. It is therefore believed that the species is threatened as a result of this exploitation for traditional medicine purposes and other cultural beliefs. However, no studies have been carried out to document the various uses of the animal within tribal communities throughout its range in Africa. The aim of the study is to investigate the uses of the species for traditional, cultural and medicinal purposes and the potential these may have on the prevalence and distribution of this vulnerable species within its known distributional range within South Africa. In conjunction with this, this study aims to estimate the current need for the species within South African tribal communities and to document the associated uses of pangolin body parts to try and quantify this use as a potential threat to the species. Individuals, elders and traditional healers within tribal communities throughout the species known distributional range in South Africa were interviewed, namely in the Sepedi, Zulu, Tsonga, Venda, Tswana, SiSwati and Ndebele tribes. It was found that the use of the animal in the communities rode basically on the belief system of the people. The animals’ scales were the most frequent body part utilised to treat a wide array of ailments. Following this, the blood, fat, bones and meat were often prescribed for a particular disease or an ailment. Not only were pangolin body parts prescribed for medicinal purposes but often prescribed for protection against harm or to ward off evil spirits by either having a scale and/or blood on person or including the fat and/or blood into the building material of houses and livestock pens. In some instances, the meat is also considered a delicacy. In sourcing the animals, communities would either actively hunt pangolins or opportunistically make use of those that are found as road kills. In some cases, large sums of money are offered to source pangolins specifically for traditional medicine. Knowledge about the species was more prevalent among the elderly and generally the species was less well known amongst younger rural people. Nevertheless, the species is still regarded as an important and sought-after organism for traditional medicine in South Africa and, as such, traditional medicine can pose a significant threat to the species population status throughout its distributional range.

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Page publiée le 6 mars 2019