Helen Catherine Nash, a pangolin researcher from the National University of Singapore (NUS), is leading a project to track pangolins in the wild with radio and GPS tags.
Building on previous pangolin tracking studies, the project aims to further the understanding of how and where pangolins disperse and move about, as well as the range and criteria for their choice of habitat in Singapore. The results will provide insight into how pangolins interact with roads and what options can be taken to minimise the risk of pangolin road kill. The research will also enhance conservation management plans for the local Sunda pangolin.
An improved understanding of pangolin home ranges can provide us with more accurate information on the pangolin population, and will complement the on-going camera trap project being conducted by the National Parks Board. The project will also help gain valuable information on how adult female pangolins choose habitats for breeding and raising their young in the wild.
Lastly, monitoring how pangolins interact among themselves will also be crucial for enhancing their population’s viability. To achieve these aims, this study will tag and track ten local Sunda pangolins using radio and GPS tags.
Apart from this, pangolin adults are known to consume about 70 million insects per year. When they dig for insects, they also help loosen and aerate the soil. Tracking their movements and behaviour will also help us better understand the role they play in the ecosystem.