19 February 2017

Africa: International Fund for Animal Welfare Says Pangolins in Danger of Extinction

Photo: The Herald
Pangolin.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) said pangolins are the world's most illegally traded mammal and in danger of extinction.

In a press release sent to The Ethiopian Herald Friday, IFAW campaigns officer Mark Hofberg said the World Pangolin Day on February 18 reminded us to do a lot in protecting these armored creatures once inhabited vast portions of Asia and Africa as their populations are severely dwindling due to a massive and growing demand for their scales.

Moreover, they are believed to have curative properties in East Asian medicine, and their meat, which is highly regarded as a symbol of status, he noted.

According to data analyzed by the IFAW, last year ,there was a staggering number of seizures of pangolin scales and meat in source, transit, and market countries.

Last summer, Hong Kong seized 13.4 tonnes of pangolin scales in three separate seizures originating from Cameroon, Nigeria and Ghana. In December, China seized its largest shipment of pangolin scales ever (3.1 tonnes from Nigeria), while Malaysia seized 2.9 tonnes in transit from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Reports show that dating back to 2015, there have been at least 74 seizures of pangolins and pangolin products totaling about 2,300 whole pangolins (alive or dead), over 7,800 metric tons of frozen pangolin meat, and over 45,000 metric tons of pangolin scales.

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