Our team, working with the Thai government, recently captured some gorgeous camera trap photos of a Sunda pangolin carrying her baby on her tail.
Taken in Khlong Nakha Wildlife Sanctuary (KNWS), this area is one of ZSL’s project sites for the study and protection of Sunda pangolins.
We recorded the first evidence of pangolins in KNWS on a camera trap video in October 2015. These latest pictures show a pangolin carrying her baby as all pangolins do - on her tail!
The camera trap was set in March 2016, at the peak of the dry season, in an area close to one of the few streams still flowing with water.
While walking in the forest looking for pangolin signs, the team noticed a hollow in one of the big trees in the area. Tree hollows are used by Sunda pangolins both as resting and nesting sites.
The size, depth and shape of the hollow convinced the team to position one of the camera traps right in front of it. Definitely a good choice! After 30 days the camera traps were collected and, to the excitement of the team, the pictures showed a mother carrying her baby in and out the tree hollow.
Sunda pangolins usually only have one baby after a gestation period of three to four months. Young are nurtured in nesting tree hollows for three to four months, but can start eating termites and ants already at one month and this is the time when the young pangolin begins to accompany the mother outside of the tree hollow, riding on her tail, as she goes foraging for insects.
During the same camera trapping period, another camera trap recorded a second pangolin, again not far from a still-flowing stream. These two findings give our team and the rangers a lot of hope about the population status of Sunda pangolin in the area, as well as more information about pangolin ecology.
Many thanks to Fondation Segré and SOS (Save Our Species, an initiative managed by IUCN) for funding the work that made these photos possible.
By Barbara Pollini, ZSL Thailand
Select a blog
Our people are our greatest asset and we realise our vision for a world where wildlife thrives through their ideas, skills and passion. An inspired, informed and empowered community of people work, study and volunteer together at ZSL.
At ZSL, a key area of our work is the employment of Nature-based Solutions – an approach which both adapt to and mitigates the impacts of climate change. These Solutions, which include habitat protection and restoration, are low-cost yet high-impact, and provide multiple benefits to people and wildlife. We ensure that biodiversity recovery is at the heart of nature-based solutions.
A blog for lovers of ZSL London Zoo, bringing you extraordinary animal facts and exclusive access to the world's oldest scientific zoo.
Do you love wildlife? Discover more about our amazing animals at the UK's biggest zoo!
We're working around the world to conserve animals and their habitats, find out more about our latest achievements.
From the field to the lab, catch up with the scientists on the cutting edge of conservation biology at ZSL’s Institute of Zoology.
A day in Discovery and Learning at ZSL is never dull! The team tell us all about the exciting sessions for school children, as well as work further afield.
Every month, one of the pieces held in ZSL’s Library and at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo will feature here as Artefact of the Month.
Read testimonials from our Members and extracts from ZSL's award winning members' magazine, Wild About.
ZSL works across Asia, from the famous national parks of Nepal to marine protected areas in the Philippines. Read the latest updates on our conservation.
An Open Access journal for research at the interface of remote sensing, ecology and conservation.