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, 14 (2), e0198230

Mortality and Morbidity in Wild Taiwanese Pangolin (Manis Pentadactyla Pentadactyla)


Mortality and Morbidity in Wild Taiwanese Pangolin (Manis Pentadactyla Pentadactyla)

Nick Ching-Min Sun et al. PLoS One.

Erratum in


Globally, pangolins are threatened by poaching and illegal trade. Taiwan presents a contrary situation, where the wild pangolin population has stabilized and even begun to increase in the last two decades. This paper illustrates the factors responsible for causing mortality and morbidity in the wild Taiwanese pangolin (Manis pentadactyla pentadactyla) based on radio-tracking data of wild pangolins and records of sick or injured pangolins admitted to a Taiwanese wildlife rehabilitation center. Despite being proficient burrowers, results from radio-tracking show that Taiwanese pangolins are highly susceptible to getting trapped in tree hollows or ground burrows. Data from Pingtung Rescue Center for Endangered Wild Animals showed that trauma (73.0%) was the major reason for morbidity in the Taiwanese pangolin with trauma from gin traps being the leading cause (77.8%), especially during the dry season, followed by tail injuries caused by dog attacks (20.4%). Despite these threats, Taiwan has had substantial success in rehabilitating and releasing injured pangolins, primarily due to the close collaboration of Taiwanese wildlife rehabilitation centers over the last twenty years.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.


Fig 1
Fig 1
(A) Locations of field study sites for pangolin radio-tracking; the locations of two wildlife rehabilitation facilities, Endangered Species Research Institute and Pingtung Rescue Centre (PTRC); areas in green indicate the county from where pangolins were brought to PTRC from 2006 to 2017, whilst the numbers refer to the number of pangolins brought from that county. (B) Map of the pangolin radio-tracking study site showing the locations of the 14 incidents of dead or injured pangolins. Road No. 1 is a 11m wide paved road with busy traffic (approximately 5,500 cars and motorcycle passing every day; source: Directorate General of Highways, MOTC.; Road No. 2 is a 7m wide paved road with much lighter traffic; Road No. 3 is a 7m wide paved country road with little traffic.
Fig 2
Fig 2. Bi-monthly totals of Taiwanese Pangolin admitted to Pingtung rescue center from 2006 to 2017.

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Grant support

The author Kurtis Jai-Chyi Pei received funding for this work; Ministry of Science and Technology (Grant number: NSC 101-2621-M-020-006, NSC 102-2621-M-020-004, NSC 102-2621-M-110-004); The author Nick Ching-Min Sun received the funding from Taitung Forest District Office (Grant number: 104-737-1);; and The Mohamed Bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund (Grant number: 13256024);