Uromanis tetradactyla


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Uromanis tetradactyla
Species Authority: (Linnaeus, 1766)
Common Name(s):
English Black-bellied Pangolin, Long-tailed Pangolin
French Pangolin À Longue Queue, Pangolin Tétradactyle
Spanish Pangolín De Cola Larga
Manis tetradactyla Linnaeus, 1766
Uromanis tetradactyla Linnaeus, 1766
Taxonomic Notes: Included in Manis by some authors (with Uromanis usually considered a subgenus), and referred to Phataginus by Grubb et al. (1998) along with all other African pangolins, but here included in the genus Uromanis following Pocock (1924), McKenna and Bell (1997) and 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 in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, presence in a number of protected areas, shy and arboreal nature, and tolerance of a degree of habitat modification, which suggest that is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a higher category of threat. Nonetheless, the species requires close monitoring given the growing threat of bushmeat hunting.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species occurs in the forested regions of West and Central Africa, from Sierra Leone eastwards through south-eastern Guinea, Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire and south-west Ghana, there being an apparent gap in distribution until west Nigeria. They then occur eastwards through southern Cameroon, and much of the Congo Basin forest block to the Semliki valley (and thus, just possibly, into Uganda) (Kingdon and Hoffmann in press). Their presence in Cabinda (Angola) is possible (J. Crawford-Cabral pers. comm.).
Cameroon; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Côte d'Ivoire; Equatorial Guinea; Gabon; Ghana; Liberia; Nigeria; Sierra Leone
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: There is no quantitative data available on densities or abundance. This is the least frequently recorded of all African pangolins, though it may be less rare than available records suggest. The species is extremely shy, almost strictly arboreal, and mainly restricted to little-known and little-penetrated habitats (Kingdon and Hoffmann in press).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This is the most arboreal of the African pangolin species, found in tropical moist riverine and swamp forest, never far from water (Kingdon and Hoffmann in press). In Nigeria, it has been recorded both in secondary rainforests, in altered forests (bush), and in farmlands (agricultural areas of former lowland rainforests) (Angelici et al. 1999). It feeds on ants, termites and other invertebrates. The gestation period is about 140 days, after which the females give birth to a single young. Breeding is almost continuous.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It is threatened by selective hunting for meat, medicinal and cultural use, although to a far lesser degree than Phataginus tricuspis or Smutsia gigantea. According to CITES trade reports for the period 1996-2005, trade in live animals, specimens or skins is reported in nearly every year, with 40 specimens exported from the Central African Republic in 2000 (Kingdon and Hoffmann in press).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is present in a number of protected areas (e.g. Ituri Forest Reserve). While it is listed on Appendix II of CITES, there is a need to develop and enforce protective legislation in many range states.

Bibliography [top]

Angelici, F. M., Grimod, I. and Politano, E. 1999. Mammals of the Eastern Niger Delta (Rivers and Bayelsa States, Nigeria): An environment affected by a gas-pipeline. Folia Zoologica 48: 249-264.

Grubb, P., Jones, T. S., Davies, A. G., Edberg, E., Starin, E. D. and Hill, J. E. 1998. Mammals of Ghana, Sierra Leone and The Gambia. Trendrine Press, Zennor, St Ives, Cornwall, UK.

Heath, M. and Kingdon, J. 2013. Genus Uromanis. In: J. S. Kingdon and M. Hoffmann (eds), The Mammals of Africa, Academic Press, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Kingdon, J. and Hoffmann, M. 2013. Phataginus tetradactyla Long-tailed Pangolin. In: J. S. Kingdon and M. Hoffmann (eds), The Mammals of Africa. Volume 5: Carnivores, Pangolins, Equids, Rhinoceroses, Bloomsbury Publishing, London.

Mckenna, M. C. and Bell, S. K. 1997. Classification of Mammals Above the Species Level. Columbia University Press, New York, USA.

Pocock, R. I. 1924. The external characteristics of the pangolins (Manidae). Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1924: 707-723.

Citation: Hoffmann, M. 2008. Uromanis tetradactyla. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 23 July 2014.
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