Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Morin, Dana J.

Committee Member

Challender, Daniel D.W.S.

Committee Member

Evans, Kristine O.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Forest Resources


Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture


Tropical African pangolin species are threatened throughout their range due to habitat loss and illegal take. Limited knowledge on distribution has rendered conservation efforts challenging. Methods commonly used for other wildlife species need to be tested for each pangolin species as each has variable ecologies requiring specific detection and monitoring techniques. This thesis evaluates the efficacy of two non-invasive environmental methods for detecting tropical African pangolin species, and consists of two complementary studies; a proof of concept study using soil sourced eDNA from a white-bellied pangolin enclosure in the Columbus Zoo, Ohio, to detect the species, and a field study in the Campo Ma’an National Park, Cameroon, to evaluate the efficacy of targeted camera traps (terrestrial and arboreal), and environmental DNA (soil sourced eDNA and water sourced eDNA) to detect each tropical African pangolin species. Study results contribute to future ecological monitoring efforts for each species to inform conservation actions.