What this means:
In science even a lack of data tells us something! The results are by no means conclusive, but the low sample numbers could suggest a problem with this methodology in looking specifically for pangolin scat (perhaps that they often bury their scat), or that the population densities at the study sites have become so low that the chances for scat detection are equally low; or it may be a combination of the two factors.
In the search for genetic information about pangolins, and perhaps, for baseline population data too, it may be a case of ‘back to the drawing board’ to find methodologies that are effective with our scaly, noctournal friends
From March 2017, the project moved to another next stage: looking for living Chinese pangolins, their spoor and dens. Bryn, our Research Mananger and Dung, our Senior Field Researcher travelled back and forth between Na Hang and Pu Mat reserve’s forests.
Once completed the team will be able to identify the strongholds of Chinese pangolin and understand the conservation status of Chinese pangolins in Vietnam, which leads to further actions to save this species.