MANILA — Knowledge of the Philippine pangolin, the only pangolin species in the country, is scant. Sightings of the animal are rarer still. But unlike other pangolin species around the world that teeter on the brink of extinction, a new study suggests that with the appropriate conservation measures, the Philippines’ endemic pangolin still has a shot at bouncing back. In a study published last December in the journal Global Ecology and Conservation, researchers conducting a comprehensive survey found that Philippine pangolins (Manis culionensis) have been spotted in 17 of the 24 municipalities in Palawan, the island province that’s the only place on Earth where this species occurs. “This is promising for the Philippine pangolin and suggests it is not too late to establish conservation efforts across the species’ range,” lead author Lucy Archer, from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), tells Mongabay. An enigmatic species So little is known about the Philippine pangolin that even as the IUCN considers the species to be critically endangered, there is no accepted estimate for its baseline population. The scientific literature suggests the species was never common, and interviews with Indigenous communities carried out in 2018 suggest it has been in sharp decline since the 1980s, the IUCN notes. However, the newly published survey gives reason for optimism. A Philippine pangolin pup and its mother, a critically endangered species endemic to the Palawan island group. Photo by Gregg Yan, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 Similar comprehensive surveys assessing locals’ knowledge of pangolins, done in West Africa…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer