Pangolins range in size from really small, at just 12 inches (30cm) long, to the giant pangolin, at around five feet (1.5m). All eight pangolin species are classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as being threatened or vulnerable, and two are critically endangered. International trade in pangolins is prohibited in terms of the global Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) agreement. Yet, the trafficking continues unabated.
In April, Malaysian authorities seized a 27-ton consignment of animals and scales, the highest ever in that country, with an estimated black-market value of £1.6m ($2-million). Police in Singapore intercepted shipments of scales totalling 26 tons, and in Vietnam, authorities confiscated five tons hidden in a container of cashew nuts transported from Nigeria. In separate recent discoveries, a further ten tons of scales were seized in Uganda, the Philippines, and Hong Kong.
With numbers like that, it is only a matter of time before all the pangolins have gone.
Pangolins need better law enforcement if they are to be saved from extinction.
PAL needs your help to spread awareness about an impending global disaster. Please, if you possibly can, donate today so that we can make sure these precious creatures don’t slide unnoticed into extinction. Soon, the expression will no longer be: dead as a dodo, but dead as a pangolin, another creature that the world failed to save.