Rollin' With the Pangolin
 
(Manis temminckii )


Endangerment and Conservation - Save the Pangolin!


The poaching of pangolins for sale in Asian continues to occur despite protection under federal law of many countries as well as steep penalties and fines.  The country that is really driving the demand for these organisms though, is China.  In 2009, over 38 tons of frozen pangolins were confiscated while poachers tried to smuggle them illegally into China.  In Chinese culture, the meat of a pangolin is considered a delicacy.  It can be used in various expensive dishes, including braised meat and especially Pangolin soup, a dish that has become immensely popular in recent years. Their scales are also thought to fight many different illnesses, from preventing malaria to helping relieve allergies.  However, no medicinal effects of the scales have been proven.  This demand both for meat and scales pushes the poaching of these precious animals to continue throughout Africa and Asia. 

A coat made of pangolin scales from India.  Image courtesy of user Gaius Cornelius in Wikimedia Commons.Currently, Manis temminckii is considered endangered according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  However, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species places the ground pangolin in the category of "least concern."  They claim that the pangolin is abundant in its habitat and present in protected areas.  Yet, the IUCN also points out that numbers of this species will only continue to decrease because of their low reproduction rates and the fact that they are  widely hunted.  Although it is not endangered on this list, the protection of ground pangolins is crucial to prevent their demise at the hands of poachers.


A pangolin that has been poached.  Image courtesy of Tikki Hywood Trust.

So, what can you do to help?  The easiest and most important way to help with the conservation of pangolins is to inform others just how essential they are to their environment and the world.  Showing people how fascinating and unique these animals are will hopefully convince them to help protect pangolins and report any illegal trade or poaching.  Visit savepangolins.org to learn more and find out how you can save these amazing organisms.

Champ, a pangolin that has been rescued from poaching by Tikki Hywood Trust!Also head over to tikkihywoodtrust.org.  This organization is doing amazing work to help save pangolins.  They are even currently raising a pangolin rescued from poachers in Zimbabwe.  This pangolin, named Champ (pictured to the right), can be found in many of the pictures on this site.  Check out Tikki Hywood Trust's page for updates on how Champ is doing!

 

 Click here to continue on and learn some other fun facts about Manis temminckki !    


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2012 Craig Grosshuesch