Environment Institute

Pangolins are increasingly threatened by demand for their scales, which are used in traditional medicines, and for their meat, which is consumed as a luxury.


Associate Professor Phill Cassey along with staff from TRAFFIC have been researching ways to protect the Pangolin which has been published in paper with the title “Taking a stand against illegal wildlife trade: the Zimbabwean approach to pangolin conservation

As populations of Asian pangolins decline, the demand is shifting to the four species in Africa, where local cultural use may already pose some level of threat. During 2010−2015 a total of 65 pangolin-related seizures (surrendered and confiscated) were reported in Zimbabwe, with the annual number of confiscations increasing significantly over this period.

Zimbabwean authorities have toughened their stance against this trade, and during January−June 2015 three-quarters of confiscations of pangolins (n = 12) resulted in the maximum jail sentence for at least one of the offenders in each case. At present there is no evidence that pangolins are being traded from Zimbabwe to China, and the increased enforcement may be key to ensuring Zimbabwe’s pangolins are not threatened by the large-scale illegal trade witnessed in Asia.

Read the article to find out how Phill’s research is tackling wildlife trafficking by providing advice to policy makers in order to prevent a possible pangolin trade crisis.

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Pleistocene era bears could weigh up to one thousand kilograms, though their only contemporary relative in the Tremarctinae family is the shy, herbivorous Andean Spectacled Bear.
Dr Kieren Mitchell of the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA has been doing the research into the great and little bear, and had a simple reply when Ewart Shaw from Radio Adelaide commented that they were very big indeed.

Listen to the podcast.


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The Centre for Conservation Science and Technology (CCoST) and The Australian Bioactive Compounds Centre (ABCC) were officially launched on Thursday the 14th of April.

The Centre for Conservation Science and Technology (CCoST) is a provider of innovative science and technology methods and analysis to deliver practical and affordable solutions to the most pressing conservation and natural resources management challenges globally. CCoST is unique in having inter-disciplinary research strengths in biodiversity and biosecurity monitoring, conservation and restoration, and identifying illegal trade in biological products.

The Australian Bioactive Compounds Centre, is a joint research Centre between the University of Adelaide and the University of South Australia. The Centre applies ecological and Indigenous knowledge to improve the efficiency of identifying biologically active compounds from plants found in Australia, in particular from its unique arid environments. It works with commercial partners to fast-track these into commercially useful products in areas including medicine and agriculture.

Professor Andy Lowe and Professor Phil Weinstein gave introductions to their respective centres followed by presentations from guest speakers.

Guest Speakers were Professor Birger Møller, Professor of Plant Biochemistry, University of Copenhagen and David Emmett, Senior Vice President, Asia-Pacific Field Division of Conservation International who captivated and inspired the audience.

You can watch the full video of the launch including all of the presentations below.


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This post is by Jeremy Austin and was originally published on the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA (ACAD) Blog, under the title “Recovery and identification of missing servicemen” As we approach the commemoration of ANZAC Day, we are reminded of the more than 25,000 Australian servicemen missing in action who have yet to be recovered and […]

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The work of University of Adelaide researcher Dr Kieren Mitchell is shedding new light on the evolution of what are believed to be the largest bears that ever walked the Earth. Dr Mitchell, from the University’s Australian Centre for Ancient DNA, School of Biological Sciences, has a new paper just published in Biology Letters. He writes: […]

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Fossil finds are a vital source of evidence, not just for the origin of species, but for establishing environmental and climate history as well. A new project at the University of Adelaide, lead by Professor Corey Bradshaw, brought together talented researchers from many disciplines to develop new approaches to fossil finding. One of whom, Dr […]

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Using Indigenous and ecological knowledge to find useful compounds from arid-zone plants, and finding technological solutions to major conservation issues, are the focus of two new research centres being launched together today at the University of Adelaide. Jointly established by the University of Adelaide and the University of South Australia, the Australian Bioactive Compounds Centre will apply Aboriginal […]

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Frank the coral has been living peacefully on the beautiful Great Barrier Reef for 400 years. However, Frank noticed that in the last century it started to get gradually hotter… until in 2016 the water temperature went completely out of control putting Frank’s life at risk. Will this old giant resist the stress of a […]

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On Saturday the 9th April, Professor Andy Lowe was a guest presenter on Channel 11’s youth science program, Scope.   The episode was about the Transects for Environmental Decision-making (TREND) Citizen Science App and the value of citizen science. The Terrestrial Ecosystems component of the TREND is one of the seven major subcontinental transects that make […]

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The South Australian Museum holds thousands of hair – and to a lesser extent, blood – samples collected from Aboriginal people during anthropological surveys last century. Scientists and staff from the South Australian Museum, the University of Adelaide, the National Centre of Indigenous Genomics (NCIG), Deakin University and Latrobe University will use specimens, linguistic records […]

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