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World Pangolin Day 17th Feb 2024

These fascinating mammals (scaly ant eaters) are the most trafficked animals on the planet with the eight species of pangolin in the world being decimated. Their scales are thought to have medicinal properties by some and are used for traditional medicine mainly in parts of Asia. Not only that for some cultures they are considered a delicacy. Pangolins are also declining due to habitat loss and fragmentation and some get killed on the roads at night. The are currently on the CITES Red endangered list.

However, the pangolins are known to play a valuable role within the ecosystem and without them populations of ant and termites would get out of hand. The ground pangolins of southern Africa have been considered nocturnal and live-in burrows, which has made them hard to study.
Recent advances in gps technology has given an opening and opportunity to begin to learn more about them, a critical element for their conservation.

World Pangolin Day, 17th Feb 2024

These fascinating mammals (scaly ant eaters) are the most trafficked animals on the planet with the eight species of pangolin in the world being decimated. Their scales are thought to have medicinal properties by some and are used for traditional medicine mainly in parts of Asia. Not only that for some cultures they are considered a delicacy. Pangolins are also declining due to habitat loss and fragmentation and some get killed on the roads at night. The are currently on the CITES Red endangered list.

However, the pangolins are known to play a valuable role within the ecosystem and without them populations of ant and termites would get out of hand. The ground pangolins of southern Africa have been considered nocturnal and live-in burrows, which has made them hard to study. Recent advances in gps technology has given an opening and opportunity to begin to learn more about them, a critical element for their conservation.

You might like to watch this video clip Pangolins with Chris Packham

The recent research into this species discovered that pangolins will come out during day light hours and much of their wakeful feeding hours are determined by temperature. Pangolins have long sticky tongues, as long as their bodies, which they use to effectively collect their prey. They have an excellent sense of smell and the capacity to select the more nutritious species of ant and termite. The walk on their back legs and use their front paws to dig into termite mounds or break up the rotting wood so they can get to their food.

What you can do:
Share our website with friends

Donate to any of the various organizations working with pangolins. They would value your support. NB The AfriCat Foundation AfriCat Foundation is one such organization! Funds raised for World Pangolin Day will be ringfenced for the pangolin work.

Buy a pangolin T shirt from AfriCat UK and spread the word and support the work of the AfriCat Foundation in Namibia

pangolin on the move

AfriCat UK
There have been some changes to the AfriCat UK Board with Terry Driscoll taking over as chairman. Joining him on the Board are Frank Horan who has been supporting AfriCat UK in various ways since contributing to the new outside classroom at the AfriCat Foundation in memory of Jenny his daughter, and Janet Widdows who first visited The AfriCat Foundation in 1998. The name may be familiar as Carey was on the Board until 2020 when he retired. In addition to the Board we have keen supporters of the work in Namibia who assist the Board with various tasks and our longstanding Patrons and Ambassadors.

James Tomlinson our most recent chairman has resigned from the AfriCat UK Board for personal reasons. AfriCat UK wishes to thank James for all the hard work he has put into the charity over a number of years especially the two very successful dinners with Olympic rowers. We know his interest in the charity will continue and wish him success in his future endeavours.

The UK Board is keen to hear from anyone interested in fundraising for our work in Namibia, joining the Board or keen to help. Please get in touch with any of the team.

two lions in Namibia

AfriCat UK’s Vision
To contribute towards the conservation efforts of the Namibian charities who work to conserve suitable habitat and environments where carnivores and endangered species can thrive and survive. This work will involve education, research and working with local communities.

Misson Statement
To promote the need for conservation of the natural world for all in Namibia. To work with local charities supporting their projects and initiatives. This will include but not be limited too, awareness raising of issues in the UK, Namibia and the wider world; supporting local educational initiatives; fundraising; promoting visits to the region and Okonjima; encouraging and sharing relevant research work; working to reduce human wildlife conflict and to involve local communities with all relevant activities.

Contacting AfriCat UK

correspondence address: 5 Brackendale Way Reading Berkshire RG6 1DZ

phone: landline 0118 935 1681 (please leave a message if no reply)

email address: support@africat.co.uk will replace the current one of info-uk@africat.org from early January. (Anything sent to the old email will be forwarded)

AfriCat UK board members can be contacted with their first name followed by @africat.co.uk

website: www.africat.co.uk

leopard tracking and viewing in Namibia

AfriCat UK Patron - Lorraine Kelly, visits AfriCat in the Okonjima Nature Reserve.

“I first became aware of the incredible work being done by AFRICAT at Okonjima around twenty years ago and was so impressed by their dedication, work ethic and passion for conservation that I asked to become a patron.

What a joy it was to return to Okonjima this year and catch up again in person with the AFRICAT team and see how the foundation has gone from strength to strength.

With true grit and determination, they somehow managed to survive the Covid years and are now helping even more endangered animals.

The highlight of my trip was meeting TREX, the most beautiful little pangolin who roams free in the wild but wears a tracking device and has a devoted “nanny” to watch over him and keep him safe from poachers.

It was such an honour and a really emotional experience to see TREX happily toddling about feasting on termites and being kept safe from harm.

It is heartbreaking to think that these wonderful creatures are the most trafficked mammal in the world. They are trapped and thrust into containers while still alive to be sent to Vietnam and China to be eaten, and their scales used in traditional medicine.
It makes no sense, because just like a rhino horn pangolins scales are made of keratin, exactly the same as our fingernails.

At AFRICAT the emphasis is on conservation through education, which is how real changes can be made to protect TREX and all the other animals who urgently need our help.

The AFRICAT funded research being done on pangolins, leopards, cheetah, brown hyenas as well as the impact of climate change on aardvarks is enormously important. The more we learn, the more we achieve in terms of conservation.

Working closely with scientists, researchers and conservationists from all over the world, as well as the local farming community, means that ideas and information can be exchanged to develop long term strategies, not just for Okonjima but for the rest of Africa and the entire planet.

I’m very proud to be associated with such a forward thinking, caring organisation who continue to make such a difference.”

Lorraine Kelly
TV Journalist & TV Presenter – UK

AfriCat - Behind the Scenes

The AfriCat Foundation welcomes Okonjima guests to come behind the scenes to learn first-hand about the work of the Foundation.

The AfriCat Behind The Scenes programme is available for groups of guests between 4 to 8 pax booked into the Okonjima Bush Camp or Luxury Villa for at least three nights on a fully inclusive basis.

This experience will give you a deeper insight into our research projects, such as the Brown Hyaena, Pangolin, the Leopard and other endangered species. Guests will be able to see and participate in AfriCat work that can be scheduled for the time of the visit such as re-collaring as well as the option of meeting the “AfriCat ambassador carnivores” that are in the care of AfriCat.

For more information please visit: AfriCat Behind the Scenes

Since 2014, AfriCat UK (UK Charity Commission Number 1120026) has supported The AfriCat Foundation and The Namibian Lion Trust (Formerly AfriCat North). AfriCat UK raises funds for the various programs that have been developed by the Namibian charities to assist in research of key species, research of solutions to Human Wildlife Conflict, and the education of local communities in Namibia.

We have successfully funded research that has assisted in the better understanding of the Cheetah, Pangolin, Leopard, Lion, and Hyenas. AfriCat UK have funded the building of a school for local communities to improve the link in conservation and education for future generations. Many world renowned veterinary clinicians have based their research and resultant doctorates on the animals and facilities that can be found at the two charities in Namibia that we continue to fund. The importance of this research allows for wide-spread conservation initiatives that impact species globally.

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