In the past decade, more than a million pangolins have been taken from the wild in Asia and Africa – and another 10 years of such poaching might see this unique creature driven to extinction..
Our regularly updated interactive maps of illegal trade seizures of pangolins have already provided a useful tool for international enforcement.
And now we have launched our Pangolin Project to bring to bear our unique knowledge and methodology to help crack down on the transnational organised criminal syndicates which are increasingly turning to pangolins as a lucrative side-line or alternative to ivory and rhino horn.
Just one seizure in July 2017 gives a chilling insight into the scale of the problem when Chinese customs discovered a single shipment of 11.9 tonnes of scales – estimated to have come from at least 20,000 individual African pangolins.
Not only are pangolins poached for international trade as food, traditional ‘medicines’ and even decorative carvings of their scales but they are also threatened by pesticides and habitat loss. Their low reproductive rate further makes already vulnerable populations especially precarious.
There are eight species of pangolins in the world – four each in Asia and Africa – and all are sufficiently threatened to be accorded protection by the Conference on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
To find out more about our Pangolin Project, visit the project page on our website.