World Pangolin Day 2020

The World’s Most Trafficked Mammal
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Despite being one of the least known animals, pangolins are now the most trafficked mammals in the world because of the illegal wildlife trade.

In the last decade, 1 million pangolins were trafficked.

Every year, roughly 400,000 pangolins are killed for their scales, which are believed to have medicinal value, and their meat, which in certain parts of the world is considered a delicacy.
Image by James Suter.

Pangolins desperately need protecting. By sharing this film and raising awareness about the plight of pangolins, you can be the voice that they don’t have. Let’s help to save them from extinction by joining together and supporting these remarkable organisations.

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There are eight species of pangolins found throughout Asia and Africa, and each is listed on the IUCN Red List from vulnerable to critically endangered. Pangolins are incredibly elusive, solitary animals who prefer to stay out of sight and search for their food at night. This poses a unique challenge to their conservation and makes it difficult for conservationists to accurately determine how many pangolins are left in the wild. It is, however, known that the rate at which pangolins are being stolen from the wild is unsustainable and if we do not act now, pangolins will soon be extinct.
Image by Black Bean Productions.
There are so many things that make pangolins unique, from their long tongues to their scale-covered bodies. Another unique characteristic of pangolins is that they roll themselves into a tight ball, using their tough outer scales to protect them from danger. Sadly, this defence mechanism leaves them even more vulnerable to poachers, who can simply pick them up.

Pangolins are known for their incredibly long tongue, which is longer than their entire body. Using their tongues, pangolins eat up to 70 million insects a year.

This means that they play a critical role in maintaining the health of the ecosystem in which they live. Their disappearance from these ecosystems could have lasting detrimental impacts on other species. 

Image by James Suter.

A further threat to the survival of pangolins is how challenging it is for them to survive in captivity after being rescued before they are ready to be released back into the wild. Pangolins have a highly specialised diet and will only eat food that they have found themselves. This, combined with the lasting effects of the stress and emotional trauma they have endured, often leads to pangolins having a very low survival rate.

Despite the challenges involved in conserving pangolins, there are so many incredible organisations and individuals like WildAid, PAMS Foundation, Pangolin Africa and Rare and Endangered Species Trust who are working tirelessly to protect pangolins. World Pangolin Day is a day dedicated to honouring these incredible animals and creating awareness around the plight they are facing. We also want to celebrate and support those doing critical work to bring pangolins back from the brink of extinction.

We cannot allow pangolins to become extinct at the hands of the illegal wildlife trade. We need to protect them. You can join the fight to save our pangolins by supporting these organisations, and by watching and sharing our film to raise awareness. Together, we can protect pangolins and be the voice that they do not have.

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