“Pangolins are the ‘most trafficked animal on Earth’.”
Save Pangolins – 28/10/2015
“A $6 billon-a-year illegal trafficking trade” is the way that Save Pangolins states this illegal trade is worth. The Malayan Pangolin is on the critically endangered list stating that they are now extremely rare in parts of the lowlands of the country “due to agricultural expansion and hunting”.(here)
The Pangolin is found on two continents, Asia and Africa, and for both these locations the Pangolin is caught for it’s meat and scales. They generally are well hidden, but when surprised or attacked they roll up into a tight ball protected by their hard out scales. This makes capturing them very easy. Often these scaly animals are called Scaly Anteaters too as their long thin tongues are stuck into termite mounds to collect ants and termites to eat.
There are many stories of rescues of Pangolins, in 2013 for instance 47 Pangolins were confiscated by police and rescued (here) but there are more images online of Pangolins being caught and sold for their meat and scales. Road Markets and stalls offer these as delicacies. There is also a large concern for the number of Pangolins being exported to China. (here)
Myanmar Rangers and police have not given up the struggle though, they are still trying to protect and conserve the pangolin in the National Forests. In October 2014, a chinese worker travelling out of Myanmar was caught with pangolin in his possession and was charged with breaking the Protection of Wildlife and Proteded Areas Law(1994), of which he could be imprisoned with a possible seven year prison sentence. (Here – Please be aware images are of animal remains)
There is even a #WorldPangolinDay on the 3rd Saturday in February each year to highlight the plight of the Pangolin. During 2013, the first International Conference for Pangolins was held in Singapore and this year was held in South Africa. (IUCN SCC Pangolin Specialist Group)
The IUCN SCC Pangolin Specialist Group website states their goal is to work towards achieving “a world that values and conserves present levels of biodiversity” and this really is the goal of any organisation interested in nature and the environment. It would be foolish to only focus on one group or country but should be highlighted that we are all working together to value our world.
Our environment is sensitive and yet we often forget the human element in all this too. The more education, the more realisation about how to treat our planet and our eco-systems the more we can be a part of a world that values each other too.