Ambika Khatiwada

  • Project name: Conservation of Chinese Pangolin in Nangkholyang and Dokhu villages of Taplejung District, Nepal
  • Project site: Taplejung District, Nepal
  • EDGE species: Chinese pangolin Manis pentadactyla
  • Active: 2012 - 2015


A highly motivated and competent individual, Ambika has a degree in Forestry science and is one of the National Trust for Nature Conservation’s most promising young conservationists.

Ambika champions the conservation of the Chinese pangolin in his home village—an area where he is uniquely placed to make a difference. An EDGE Fellowship has enabled Ambika to realise his goals, and become a leader in pangolin conservation in Nepal.

EDGE Project

Ambika spent his EDGE Fellowship determining the conservation status and threats facing Chinese pangolins in the Eastern Himalayas of Nepal. He undertook the below objectives to achieve his goal:

  • Collected baseline data on the conservation status and distribution of Chinese pangolins in selected core areas of the Eastern Himalayas;
  • Identified the relative importance of threats such as habitat degradation and illegal hunting to inform the development of effective conservation action;
  • Increased awareness and engaged local community members in pangolin conservation.


  • During his EDGE Fellowship Ambika formed a Pangolin Conservation Committee (PCC) in Nangkholyang village, Nepal. The PCC is working at a local level to control illegal activities in the village and to raise public awareness for pangolin conservation.
  • More recently Ambika and the NTNC have collaborated with Washington University for a series of pangolin surveys in Nepal. This has involved using detection dogs to find pangolin droppings, with the objective of understanding genetic diversity of the species and providing genetic information of the population to law enforcement agencies. Their efforts are contributing to combating the illegal pangolin trade in Nepal.

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