For the past 15-20 years, most of the poaching activity has been in Asia, with the Chinese pangolin and Malayan pangolin being the most threatened. Pangolins are poached and illegally shipped dead and alive disguised with other scaly animals such as snakes and lizards, and then find their way through secret means to the Chinese black market and several restaurants across China and Vietnam where they are prepared and presented as a luxurious delicacy. Asian species of pangolin have experienced a tremendous loss of population over the past decade, at almost 25%. Half of these species are already classifies as endangered, while some experts have claimed that certain species may actually already be extinct. For this reason, conservationists have been seeing an increase in poaching African pangolins. If measures are not taken to combat this issue, we will undoubtedly begin to see the same population loss in African species. Increased law enforcement and stronger penalties for offenders will help the problem of poaching, but it is not enough. Further research is needed for conservationists to better approach means of protection.
More research is needed in order to effectively fight against the heartbreaking problem of poaching pangolins, one of the most interesting animals on Earth. Pangolins.org gravely puts it, “If current trends continue in the face of limited knowledge about their population size, reproduction, and general ecology, this species could spiral completely out of existence within the next ten years.
To learn more about the need for more research and steps being taken now to fight the illegal trade of pangolins, visit these helpful websites:www.savepangolins.org