Smutsia temminckii


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Smutsia temminckii
Species Authority: (Smuts, 1832)
Common Name(s):
English Temminck's Ground Pangolin, Steppe Pangolin, Scaly Anteater, South African Pangolin, Ground Pangolin, Cape Pangolin
French Pangolin De Temminck, Pangolin Terrestre Du Cap
Spanish Pangolín Del Cabo
Manis temminckii Smuts, 1832
Taxonomic Notes: Included in Manis by most authors (with Smutsia usually considered a subgenus), and referred to Phataginus by Grubb et al. (1998), but here included in the genus Smutsia, along with the Giant Pangolin S. gigantea following Heath and Kingdon (in press).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Hoffmann, M.
Reviewer(s): Hoffmann, M. & Stuart, S.N. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Listed as Least Concern because this species is widespread, locally abundant and present in numerous protected areas. Although it is hunted, and likely declining locally in some regions, the rate of decline is not believed to be sufficient to warrant listing in Near Threatened or a threatened category.
1996 Lower Risk/near threatened (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is distributed from eastern Chad from north of the forest block through parts of southern Sudan and most of East Africa to southern Africa (to about 30 degrees south). Also recorded from north-eastern Central African Republic and from south-western Ethiopia (though not from Somalia) (Swart in press). It is unclear if the distribution of this species overlaps with the range of the Giant Pangolin S. gigantea in the mosaic forest savanna north and south of the forest blocks.
Angola (Angola); Botswana; Central African Republic; Chad; Ethiopia; Kenya; Malawi; Mozambique; Namibia; South Africa; South Sudan; Sudan; Swaziland; Tanzania, United Republic of; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is very widely but patchily distributed. Given its nocturnal and secretive nature, their abundance is probably underestimated. Density in the Kruger N. P. region has been estimated at 0.24/km² (Swart in press).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is a mostly solitary, terrestrial species that is present in various woodland and savanna habitats, often with thick undergrowth, and also in floodplain grasslands. The range is largely determined by an abundance of ants and termites of a few specific types. It can be found in farmed areas. Animals spend the daytime in underground dens. The female gives birth to a single young after a gestation of approximately 140 days; females give birth to one young per year (Swart in press).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is selectively hunted for meat and scales (for charms), and is used for traditional medicine in a number of countries (Bräutigam et al. 1994; Swart in press). Other recorded threats to the species include poisoning with pesticides and electric fences (Swart 1996; in press).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Although it has been locally exterminated in some areas, it occurs in many national parks and other protected areas (e.g. Kruger National Park, South Africa). While it is listed on Appendix II of CITES, and is protected in a number of range states (e.g. Botswana), there is a need to develop and enforce protective legislation over much of its distribution.

Citation: Hoffmann, M. 2008. Smutsia temminckii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.1. <>. Downloaded on 22 July 2014.
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