Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Please Take A Moment...

To Complete This Survey 

   Think you know what a Pangolin is? Want to know what a Pangolin is? Take this survey and test your knowledge!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Pangolins – The Most Trafficked Animal On Earth

Pangolins are currently one of the most trafficked animals on the planet. In 2011, an estimated 8,700-12,500 were seized by authorities for illegal trafficking as reported by TRAFFIC and the Southeast Asian Nations Wildlife Enforcement Network.  It is estimated authorities only detect 20% of illegal wildlife trafficking on the black market, which means the total number of Pangolins trafficked in 2011 could be as high as 43,800 to 62,800 Pangolins. 

Because of the extremely high illegal trafficking rate, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species has restricted Pangolins as a zero annual export for specimens removed from the wild and traded for primarily commercial purposes .  Even with this restriction on the trafficking of Pangolins, they have become extremely rare, making them all the more valuable to poachers. Authorities in many countries have struggled to control the excessive trafficking, which has resulted in the steep decline of the Pangolin population across the world.  

For more information on Pangolin trafficking, visit these websites:

International Union for Conservation of Nature

The Project Pangolin

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Pangolins: Mystery Creature

Pangolins might look like an ancestor to the dinosaur with its uniquely scaly body. To my surprise pangolins are actually mammals. Before reading this article on CNN change the list program by John D. Sutter, I have never heard of pangolins. I found this article to be incredibly interesting and eye opening especially at the point in the article that expressed “Pangolins could go extinct before most people realize it exists”.  This one sentence stuck with me throughout the reading of pangolins. There were so many eye opening facts about pangolins. One of which being the price of pangolins. From hunters, traders, and restaurants, pangolins range from $22 to $350 per kilo for their scales, blood, and meat. The fact that pangolins are trafficked more than tigers and rhinos put together is also very intriguing. I was pleased to see that the Vietnamese government announced that pangolins are now the highest category of legal protection, banning any use, sale or possession of live or dead pangolin. The maximum penalty is caught with a pangolin is $25,000 or seven years in prison. This shows everyone the severity of the issue. There are many things that justify the use of pangolins; however, I believe that the lack of knowledge of pangolins is a much bigger problem. Until more information is found out about this creature and it’s ecological benefit, trafficking of pangolins must be halted. I believe that educating everyone about this issue is very important for the health and well-being of pangolins. From my understanding from the reading and video, people have no clue that pangolins are going extinct and educating individuals would be the first step in helping the pangolins in the wild.

Here is a PDF article I found that has information about pangolins in captivity and their diet.

(Copy and paste this link into a tab and it will download a PDF file). 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Pangolins - misunderstood and mistreated

There are many misconceptions about pangolins. Despite not having any external ears, teeth and being covered with scales they are not reptile. The scales, which make up for 15% of its body weight, are made of keratin like human hair. And just like hair the scales which are overlapping each other like artichoke leaves grow throughout the life of the animal. 

Pangolin Model

They have quite good hearing but rely mostly on their sense of smell to locate food (termites and ants). Because of their unusual look pangolins are seen as as magical creatures whose ground up scales allow to neutralize witchcraft, overcome evil spirits, control wild animals and weather. In some African countries they are hunted for their meat.