Pangolins, also known as scaly anteaters, are the most frequently seized mammal in Asia’s illegal wildlife trade. Less well known than some other endangered animals, CNN recently called them “the most trafficked mammal you’ve never heard of”. Pangolins are slaughtered in alarming numbers to fill a growing demand in Chinese markets.
Unknown due to difficulty in data collection
Forests and Grasslands
Poached in mass numbers for scales and meat
There are eight different species of pangolin found across Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Often mistaken for reptiles, pangolins are covered in tough, overlapping scales that resemble plated armor. These mammals are burrowers that eat up to 12,000 ants and termites each day using their long, muscular, sticky tongue.
Pangolins are extremely adaptable – most can run surprisingly fast, are capable swimmers and some species are adept climbers as well. Pangolins are nocturnal and very secretive, making it difficult for scientists to observe and study them in the wild.
Photo by Paul Hilton for WildAid (Right)
Pangolins are hunted for food, for use in medicines and folk remedies and to fuel a rampant, illegal international trade in their scales, skins and meat. With the largest markets in China, there is a high and growing demand for nearly all body parts of the pangolin. In the period between 2011 and 2013, somewhere between 117,000 and 235,000 pangolins are estimated to have been killed, and this number continues to rise. Imagine this level of slaughter occurring every year unabated for the next ten years? What will be left?
Pangolins are unique and truly remarkable creates that need our help to survive. We need to pass laws that will make a real difference in our efforts to save these creatures.
Photo by Paul Hilton for WildAid
States where we're fighting to protect Pangolins
KLCC: Measure To Curb Endangered Animal Poaching On Oregon November Ballot
August 8, 2016
Portland Tribune: Ballot measure would bar trade in parts from endangered and exotic species in Oregon
July 7, 2016
KITV: Governor Ige signs ivory sales ban into law
June 30, 2016
Washington Voters Overwhelmingly Approve New State Laws to Protect Endangered Species