“Individual Actions, Matter”: USAID Mission Director Praises the Work of a WA BiCC Staffer in Rescuing a Pangolin.

“Individual Actions, Matter”: USAID Mission Director Praises the Work of a WA BiCC Staffer in Rescuing a Pangolin.
September 5, 2018 1:00 pm News

USAID West Africa’s Mission Director Daniel Moore has commended the actions of individual WA BiCC program staff and partners, following the successful rescue of an endangered pangolin. The story highlights the importance of raising awareness of critical conservation issues in our communities. Director Moore, who was speaking at a WA BiCC planning event, recognized the efforts of WA BiCC’s Office Manager, Esther Kwao that led to the rescue of a pangolin – the world’s most trafficked mammal. “Individual actions matter and each of us has a role to play in moving the bar towards sustainable management of scarce and threatened resources,” he said.

Pangolins are thick-armored animals, also known as ‘scaly anteaters’ due to their ecological role of providing pest control and improving soil quality. Pangolins are unfortunately under serious threat and are listed as an endangered species by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

What started as a casual chat between Esther and her friend Alexander Asare, soon led to a rescue. A farmer, Asare had excitedly mentioned a recent pangolin sighting. Asare said he was motivated to take action by the significant role that pangolins play in the forest. “I am a farmer, and ants disturb my farm a lot and so if pangolins eat ants, then I need to help save them,” said Alexander.

Photo shows a USAID West Africa staff and WA BiCC's Biodiversity Conservation Specialist laying a rescued pangolin down on the grass around the WA BiCC office premises in Accra
USAID West Africa staff (left) and WA BiCC’s Biodiversity Conservation Specialist (right) handling the rescued pangolin at WA BiCC’s office in Accra


In Ghana and in many other West African countries, pangolins are exploited for their meat and scales, which are mostly trafficked to China and other Asian countries. Alexander saved the pangolin from some snail-hunting children in eastern Ghana. Thanks to Esther’s quick work following her conversation, the pangolin was brought to the WA BiCC office in Accra, for onward release into the Atewa Forest in Eastern Ghana, in collaboration with Ghana’s Forestry Commission and A Rocha Ghana – a conservation and faith-based international NGO.

Photo shows a member of ARocha Ghana holding the rescued pangolin
The pangolin was delivered to A Rocha Ghana’s office at the Atewa Forest;  A Rocha staff returning it to its natural habitat


Photo shows the rescued pangolin coiled up and peacefully resting in its natural habitat
The rescued pangolin finally back in its natural habitat


As Esther’s story shows, little conversations, can indeed lead to important moments in conservation and we all have a role to play. Watch the full video of the rescued pangolin below.

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