Data from: Historical data for conservation: reconstructing range changes of Chinese pangolin (Manis pentadactyla) in eastern China (1970-2016)
Yang, Li et al. (2018), Data from: Historical data for conservation: reconstructing range changes of Chinese pangolin (Manis pentadactyla) in eastern China (1970-2016), Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.db430s1
The Chinese pangolin (Manis pentadactyla) has long suffered from intense exploitation driven by consumer demand for medicinal use and food. Effective conservation management is hampered by insufficient data on pangolin status and distribution. We integrated ecological niche modeling with long-term ecological records at the local scale (e.g. from local historical documents, grey and published literature and interviews) to estimate the magnitude of potential distribution change of the Chinese pangolin in eastern China (Fujian, Jiangxi and Zhejiang provinces) over time. Our results suggest that the range of the species decreased by 52.20% between the 1970s and early 2000s, and that the population is now mainly confined to the Wuyi Mountains. This reduction in potential distribution range is attributable to anthropogenic pressures. According to our conservation prioritization analysis, the priority conservation area for the Chinese pangolin in eastern China is 51,268.4 km2, 5.62% of which is covered by nature reserves. There are 18 nature reserves and 46 prefectures which are priority areas for conservation in China. The priority-level nature reserves and prefectures in eastern China are mainly located in the center of the Wuyi Mountains, and areas declared important tend to be around the Wuyi Mountains. We propose several actions to improve the conservation status of this species: establish or enlarge nature reserves, ensure local governments at the prefecture level prioritizes conservation management, and encourage local communities to participate in pangolin conservation.