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Why three pangolin species have moved closer to extinction

30 January 2020 4:40 PM
Tags:
Endangered species
species
african pangolin
pangolins
Humans are the only real predators that pangolins face, says wildlife specialist Nicci Wright.

Three pangolin species have edged closer to extinction.

The scaly mammals are targeted by poachers who cater to an international market for their scales and meat.

A recent study has now estimated that more than 850,000 pangolins were illegally traded between the year 2000 and 2019.

This makes pangolins the most trafficked mammal on the planet.

Audrey Delsink, wildlife director for Humane Society International/Africa, says pangolins are sought for traditional medicine in Asia and form of bushmeat in West Africa.

The main demand [for pangolins] is coming from Asia, especially China and Vietnam.

Audrey Delsink, Wildlife Director - Humane Society International-Africa

Wildlife specialist Nicci Wright says pangolins confiscated by law enforcement are often subjected to horrific abuse.

They are subjected to bad handling. No water, no food and often tied up in a sack for up to two weeks.

Nicci Wright, Wildlife Campaign Consultant - Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital

They roll into a ball to protect themselves and the poachers just pick them up and put them into a sack.

Nicci Wright, Wildlife Campaign Consultant - Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital

Wright works at the Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital where staff rehabilitate distressed pangolins rescued from illegal trade.

A baby pangolin being cared for at the Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital. Picture: @johannesburgwildlifevet/Facebook

Delsink and Wright discuss the decline of pangolins the protection that is due to the endangered species.

Pangolins are intriguing animals. They've been on the planet for 84 million years.

Nicci Wright, Wildlife Campaign Consultant - Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital

All they do is eat ants. They are the only scaled mammals on the planet.

Nicci Wright, Wildlife Campaign Consultant - Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital

Listen to the discussion on Lunch with Pippa Hudson:


30 January 2020 4:40 PM
Tags:
Endangered species
species
african pangolin
pangolins

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