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Video: Pango-Cam offers amazing and unique view of pangolin behavior

16 / 09 / 2019, Mongabaycom News

Widely sought for its scales and flesh, which are channeled into the illegal trade to buyers in Asia, pangolins are said to be the world’s most trafficked animal. They face an uncertain future despite a complete ban on trade in any of the eight pangolin species, agreed to in 2017 under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Also known as scaly anteaters, pangolins are unique mammals covered in hard scales made of keratin. Predominantly nocturnal and elusive, these secretive mammals remain understudied and poorly understood. Two things that can turn the tide for these creatures are further study and greater awareness of their plight, so filmmaker Katie Schuler teamed up with pangolin researcher Matthew Shirley of the Tropical Conservation Institute at Florida International University to create a new way to observe their behavior: the Pango-Cam. A camera attached temporarily to a pangolin’s back to provide first-of-its-kind footage, Pango-Cam clips are featured in Schuler’s new film being screened at Jackson Wild, a conservation event in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, from Sept. 21-27, where she will also be speaking. Mongabay spoke with Schuler about her project, pangolin conservation, and the insights gained from seeing a day in the life of the world’s most trafficked animal. Matt Shirley and Katie Schuler fixing the first ever animal-borne camera to a pangolin. Image courtesy of Sara Kinney. Mongabay: Why have you devoted so much time and talent to pangolin conservation? Katie Schuler: My storytelling often features the underdogs of the animal kingdom; the lesser-known, bizarre creepy crawlies…

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