IUCN Status



Cameroon; Central African Republic; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Côte d’Ivoire; Equatorial Guinea (Equatorial Guinea (mainland)); Gabon; Ghana; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Liberia; Nigeria; Rwanda; Senegal; Sierra Leone; South Sudan; Tanzania, United Republic of; Uganda.


The giant pangolin gives birth to a single young.

Distinguishing characteristics

The giant pangolin is the largest living pangolin species, weighing up to 35 kg. Like the Temminck’s pangolin it is easily distinguished from the much smaller tree-dwelling African pangolins by a regular scale pattern, fossorial lifestyle, and the lack of pads at the end of the tail, which are used for climbing in the arboreal species. Although its geographic range overlaps slightly with the savannah and desert dwelling ground pangolin, the giant pangolin prefers moist habitats and being close to water sources.


The giant pangolin is the largest extant species of pangolin. It is thought the giant pangolin is now extinct in Rwanda.

Giant pangolin (Smutsia gigantea)
Giant pangolin (Smutsia gigantea)

© Tanzania Carnivore Program/ZSL/WCS/TAWIRI

Giant pangolin (Smutsia gigantea)