Saving threatened habitats worldwide

Sunda Pangolin

Sunda Pangolin


Class: Mammalia

Order: Pholiodota

Family: Manidae

Scientific Name: Manis javanica

IUCN Red List status: Critically Endangered

Protected by the following WLT project/s

Khe Nuoc Trong, Vietnam

Lower Kinabatangan Floodplain, Malaysian Borneo

Species Range (IUCN)

World map


Around 120cm in length on average, these peculiar mammals are covered in a dense layer of keratin scales and fibrous hair. Their soft underbellies are left uncovered and the pangolin will roll into a tight ball to protect itself.

World Land Trust currently supports two conservation projects in the Far East, in Borneo and Vietnam, where pangolins are known to occur.


Primarily nocturnal, it uses its powerful front claws to dig for its specialised diet of ants and termites, both in the ground and in trees. It utilizes its incredibly long (up to 40cm), sticky tongue to gather up its prey, often devouring up to 200,000 ants in one sitting.

Sunda Pangolins most commonly give birth to a single offspring, following a gestation period of three to four months.

Adept climbers, these pangolins are an arboreal species, spending the majority of their time in trees, making use of their long prehensile tail. However, it is not uncommon for them to make burrows in areas such as the base of trees.

Sunda Pangolin
Five rescued pangolins were released by WLT partner Hutan into protected Bornean Rainforest, 2016.


One of eight species of pangolin, and of the four found in Asia, Sunda Pangolins can be found across Southeast Asia, including China, Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia but in ever decreasing numbers.

They make their homes in primary and secondary forest, but have been found in gardens and oil palm and rubber plantations.


The Sunda Pangolin is one of the world’s most hunted creatures, poached relentlessly for use as a delicacy meat and to use its scales in traditional Chinese medicine, despite keratin having no medicinal qualities.

The pangolin is intensely targeted for the illegal wildlife trade, with tens of thousands trafficked every year. In 2016 international trade of all eight species of pangolin was banned, granting them the highest level of protection under CITES.

It is crucial to recognise and protect strongholds of Sunda Pangolins to ensure their continued survival. World Land Trust is helping to protect habitat for this Critically Endangered mammal in Malaysian Borneo and Khe Nuoc Trong, in the Annamite Lowland Forests of central Vietnam.

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