World Pangolin Day, let’s help protect the world’s most trafficked mammal

L’obiettivo della ricorrenza è diffondere la consapevolezza sui rischi che corre il pangolino e far conoscere questo buffo animale al grande pubblico.

Pangolins are bizarre animals native to Asia and Africa that resemble an ant eater wearing armour. They can roll up in their shell to protect themselves from predators and can eat up to 70 million ants every year.

Pangolins hold a sad record

Sadly, all 8 species of pangolin are threatened by the illegal trade. These tame mammals are the most trafficked in the world. Estimates suggest that more than 10,000 pangolins are illegally brought to China every year from South-east Asia.

A doodle to help pangolins

Google dedicated its Valentine’s day doodle to pangolins. In the game, one pangolin travels around the world, learning about romantic gestures in different countries and collecting gifts for its soul mate. The game gives lots of information about pangolins, from their lifestyle to their conservation status, and allows making donations to WWF to contribute to safeguarding them.

Why these scaly animals are poached

Pangolins are poached for their scales, used in the Chinese traditional medicine (1kg can cost up to 600 dollars), and for their meat, which is considered a delicacy mostly in China.

pangolin trade
Pangolins’ scales are part of the Chinese traditional medicine. Their cost has skyrocketed: in 1990 one kg of scales costed 14 dollars, today it is worth 600 dollars © Taylor Weidman/Getty Images

A day dedicated to pangolins

In order to draw attention on the phenomenon and raise public awareness, the World Pangolin Day has been established. The recurrence is celebrated on the third Saturday in February and represents an occasion to reverse the trend that is bringing pangolins to extinction. They key factor is quality information, particularly in those countries that believe scales have beneficial properties.

A good way to take part in celebration is increasing knowledge about pangolins, by reading articles and watching videos. The aim is increase awareness and raising funds for the conservation of pangolin.

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