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14 Feb 2017

Sixth Annual World Pangolin Day is 18 February 2017  0

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World Pangolin Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in February, and this year, the special day falls on February 18, 2017.

World Pangolin Day day is an opportunity for pangolin enthusiasts to join together in raising awareness about these unique mammals — and their plight. Pangolins are unfortunately one of the most heavily trafficked mammals in the illegal wildlife trade.

Everyone is invited and encouraged to participate in World Pangolin Day! The aim of World Pangolin Day is to draw as much attention to pangolins as possible, since they are still relatively unknown outside of Africa and Asia.

12 things you can do to help pangolins on World Pangolin Day (and beyond!):

  1. TWEET using the hashtag #WorldPangolinDay.
  2. LIKE the World Pangolin Day Facebook page.
  3. BLOG about pangolins on World Pangolin Day.
  4. SHARE pangolin information on your social media networks.
  5. CREATE pangolin art — paint, draw, sculpt.
  6. EDUCATE by giving a presentation about pangolins at school.
  7. SUPPORT organizations which are working to protect pangolins.
  8. HOST a World Pangolin Day party or event (post your photos on the World Pangolin Day Facebook page!).
  9. BAKE cookies or a cake in the shape of a pangolin (post your photos on the World Pangolin Day page!).
  10. REQUEST full enforcement of laws and penalties for smuggling pangolins (and other wildlife).
  11. INFORM traditional medicine prescribers that the use of pangolin scales is illegal (and there are no proven health benefits to consuming scales — they are made of keratin, just like fingernails and hair!).
  12. NOTIFY the authorities if you see pangolins for sale at markets or on restaurant menus, or if you know of anyone capturing or possessing pangolins.

About pangolins:

Pangolins, also known as scaly anteaters, are unique creatures that are covered in hard, plate-like scales. They are insectivorous (feeding nearly exclusively on ants and termites) and are mainly nocturnal. Their name, “pangolin”, is derived from the Malay word “pengguling”, which loosely translates to “something that rolls up”. Together, the eight species comprise their very own Order: Pholidota.

There are a total of eight species of pangolin on our Planet, and all pangolin populations are declining, due to the illegal trade for meat (it’s considered a delicacy in China and Vietnam) and scales (used in traditional Chinese medicine, despite no evidence of medicinal properties).

Four pangolin species live in Asia:

  • Indian Pangolin (also called Thick-tailed Pangolin), Manis crassicaudata
  • Phillipine Pangolin, Manis culionensis
  • Sunda Pangolin (also called Malayan Pangolin), Manis javanica
  • Chinese Pangolin, Manis pentadactyla

Four pangolin species live in Africa:

  • Three-Cusped Pangolin (also called African White-Bellied Pangolin and Tree Pangolin), Manis tricuspis
  • Giant Ground Pangolin, Manis gigantea
  • Cape Pangolin (also called Temminck’s Pangolin), Manis temminckii
  • Long-Tailed Pangolin (also called Black-Bellied Pangolin), Manis tetradactyla
  • For more information or media inquiries, please contact me: rhishja (at) annamiticus (dot) com

    10 Aug 2016

    ‘State of the Pangolin’ Podcast  0

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    Have a listen to what Dr. Chris Shepherd, Regional Director, TRAFFIC Southeast Asia and Lisa Hywood, founder of Tikki Hywood Trust in Zimbabwe, have to say about the State of the Pangolin.
    Have a listen to what Dr. Chris Shepherd, Regional Director, TRAFFIC Southeast Asia, and Lisa Hywood, founder of Tikki Hywood Trust in Zimbabwe, have to say about the State of the Pangolin.

    State of the Pangolin: Tune into Episode 42 of the Behind the Schemes podcast for an exclusive interview with Dr. Chris Shepherd and Lisa Hywood.

    2016 has so far been another deadly year for pangolins, but there is hope: Coming up in September, at the 17th meeting of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), a total of four proposals covering the transfer of all eight pangolin species from Appendix II to Appendix I will be considered. The United States is co-sponsoring the pangolin proposals along with five key pangolin range countries: India, the Philippines, Vietnam, Nigeria and Senegal.

    Have a listen to what Dr. Chris Shepherd, Regional Director, TRAFFIC Southeast Asia, and Lisa Hywood, founder of Tikki Hywood Trust in Zimbabwe, have to say about the State of the Pangolin.


    31 Jan 2015

    Official Launch of African Pangolin Working Group  0

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    The African Pangolin Working Group will be formally launched on 19 February 2015. Photo via pangolin.org.za
    The African Pangolin Working Group will be formally launched on 19 February 2015. Photo via pangolin.org.za

    The African Pangolin Working Group (APWG), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation and awareness of all four species of African pangolin, will be formally launched on 19 February 2015 — just two days before World Pangolin Day.

    The APWG is the official African representative of the IUCN Species Survival Commission Pangolin Specialist Group and, as such, undertakes trade monitoring, research, rehabilitation, law enforcement and community projects across multiple African states. It was established in 2011 and registered with the South African Government in 2013.

    “The African Pangolin Working Group is an organisation of like-minded people with a passion to conserve this rare and endangered species. Through this group we hope to bring a conscious change towards the protection of this shy and enigmatic animal – the Pangolin!”, says Lisa Hywood, Tikki Hywood Trust (Zimbabwe) and founding member of APWG.

    Pangolins are hunted in Africa for bushmeat and traditional medicine. Hywood explains that African pangolins are under additional pressure as the Asian pangolin species have already been hunted to near extinction. “Africa has become Asia’s new harvesting ground to meet the insatiable demand for pangolin and their body parts.”

    According to the APWG website:

    Pangolins in Africa are under increasing threat from man. Every year numerous individuals are illegally exported to Asian markets while many more individuals are traded domestically, are accidentally killed on electrified game fences and on roads. The current rate of consumption is believed to far exceed the reproductive potential of the species, with the result that these species are being pushed ever closer to extinction.

    At the moment, trade in African pangolins mostly goes unnoticed. The Working Group believes that public support for spreading pangolin conservation awareness is crucial for the conservation of this elusive and under-studied group of animals.

    “With our official launch in February, we hope to reach a global audience to highlight the plight of these mammals and bring the world’s attention to a group of animals that face a very real extinction crisis if a concerted effort is not made to reverse their rapid decline,” said the APWG’s Co-Chairs, Darren Pietersen and Raymond Jansen.

    Learn more:


    23 Jan 2015

    Fourth Annual World Pangolin Day is February 21  0

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    Calling all Pangolin People: The fourth annual World Pangolin Day will be celebrated on February 21, 2015!
    Calling all Pangolin People: The fourth annual World Pangolin Day will be celebrated on February 21, 2015!

    World Pangolin Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in February, and this year, the special day falls on February 21, 2015.

    World Pangolin Day day is an opportunity for pangolin enthusiasts to join together in raising awareness about these unique mammals — and their plight. Pangolins are unfortunately one of the most frequently encountered mammals in the illegal wildlife trade.

    Everyone is invited and encouraged to participate in World Pangolin Day! The aim of World Pangolin Day is to draw as much attention to pangolins as possible, since they are relatively unknown outside of Africa and Asia.

    12 things you can do to help pangolins on World Pangolin Day and beyond:

    1. TWEET using the hashtag #WorldPangolinDay
    2. LIKE the World Pangolin Day Facebook page
    3. BLOG about pangolins on World Pangolin Day
    4. SHARE pangolin information on your social media networks
    5. CREATE pangolin art — paint, draw, sculpt, tattoo
    6. EDUCATE by giving a presentation about pangolins at school
    7. SUPPORT organizations which are working to protect pangolins
    8. HOST a World Pangolin Day party or event (post your photos on the World Pangolin Day page!)
    9. BAKE cookies or a cake in the shape of a pangolin (post your photos on the World Pangolin Day page!)
    10. REQUEST full enforcement of laws and penalties for smuggling pangolins (and other wildlife)
    11. INFORM traditional medicine prescribers that the use of pangolin scales is illegal (and there are no proven health benefits to consuming scales — they are made of keratin, just like fingernails!)
    12. NOTIFY the authorities if you see pangolins for sale at markets or on restaurant menus, or if you know of anyone capturing or possessing pangolins.

    World Pangolin Day: That's how we roll!

    A few facts about pangolins:

    There are a total of eight species of pangolin on our Planet, and all pangolin populations are declining, due to the illegal trade for meat (it’s considered a delicacy in China and Vietnam) and scales (used in traditional Chinese medicine, despite no evidence of medicinal properties).

    Four pangolin species live in Asia:

    • Thick-tailed Pangolin (also called Indian Pangolin), Manis crassicaudata
    • Phillipine Pangolin, Manis culionensis
    • Sunda Pangolin (also called Malayan Pangolin), Manis javanica
    • Chinese Pangolin, Manis pentadactyla

    Four pangolin species live in Africa:

    • Three-Cusped Pangolin (also called African White-Bellied Pangolin and Tree Pangolin), Phataginus tricuspis
    • Giant Ground Pangolin, Smutsia gigantea
    • Cape Pangolin (also called Temminck’s Pangolin), Smutsia temminckii
    • Long-Tailed Pangolin (also called Black-Bellied Pangolin), Uromanis tetradactyla

    Pangolins, also known as scaly anteaters, are unique creatures that are covered in hard, plate-like scales. They are insectivorous (feeding on insects) and are mainly nocturnal. Their name, “pangolin”, is derived from the Malay word “pengguling”, which loosely translates to “something that rolls up”. Together, the eight species comprise their very own Order: Pholidota.

    Meet the Pangolin!

    For more information or media inquiries about World Pangolin Day, please contact: rhishja (at) annamiticus (dot) com or Lisa Hywood at tikkihywoodtrust (at) gmail (dot) com


    15 Aug 2014

    All 8 Pangolin Species Threatened with Extinction; 2 Species Now ‘Critically Endangered’  0

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    All four African pangolin species -- the ground pangolin (Manis temminckii), giant ground pangolin (Manis gigantea), white-bellied pangolin (Phataginus tricuspid), black-bellied pangolin (Phataginus tetradactyla) -- have been moved from Least Concern to Vulnerable. PHOTO: Tikki Hywood Trust
    All four African pangolin species — the ground pangolin (Manis temminckii), giant ground pangolin (Manis gigantea), white-bellied pangolin (Phataginus tricuspid), black-bellied pangolin (Phataginus tetradactyla) — have been moved from Least Concern to Vulnerable. PHOTO: Tikki Hywood Trust

    All eight pangolin species are now considered threatened with extinction, according to the latest update of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species ™.

    Two of the four Asian species, the Chinese pangolin (Manis pentadactyla) and Sunda pangolin (Manis javanica), are now listed as Critically Endangered. The Philippine pangolin (Manis culionensis) and Indian pangolin (Manis crassicaudata) have been moved from Near Threatened to Endangered.

    All four African pangolin species — the ground pangolin (Manis temminckii), giant ground pangolin (Manis gigantea), white-bellied pangolin (Phataginus tricuspid), black-bellied pangolin (Phataginus tetradactyla) — have been moved from Least Concern to Vulnerable.

    All pangolin populations are decreasing.

    Pangolins bear the unfortunate distinction of “most illegally traded mammal in the world”, due to the massive demand from China, as well as Vietnam. Pangolin meat (including fetuses) is eaten as a delicacy. Pangolin scales are used in traditional Chinese medicine. However, the scales are simply comprised of keratin — the same as our fingernails — and there are no proven health benefits of consuming pangolin scales.

    The plundering of this species is inexcusable, says Professor Jonathan Baillie, Co-Chair of the IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group and Conservation Programmes Director at ZSL.

    “In the 21st Century we really should not be eating species to extinction — there is simply no excuse for allowing this illegal trade to continue.”

    This recognition from the IUCN is the latest positive development for pangolins in 2014.

    • Pangolins received unprecedented media coverage this year, thanks to CNN’s John Sutter taking up the plight of this endearing mammal in “The most trafficked mammal you’ve never heard of“, part of CNN’s Change the List project.
    • In June 2014, the Species Survival Network, an international coalition of over 100 NGOs, launched a Pangolin Working Group to address legal and illegal trade in pangolins, and to ensure that wild populations are protected and that CITES trade restrictions are adequately implemented and enforced. The Group is working towards the uplisting of all eight pangolin species to CITES Appendix I, which prohibits international commercial trade.
    • At the 65th Meeting of the CITES Standing Committee held in July 2014, an intercessional working group on pangolins was established following interventions by countries and NGOs. The Working Group is Chaired by the European Union and comprised of source, transit and destination countries — and NGOs. It met for the first time on July 10, and adopted a mandate calling for robust reporting requirements on pangolin trade and conservation.

    (This post was originally published on Annamiticus.)


    17 Jul 2014

    Progress for Pangolins at CITES Meeting in Geneva  0

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    Pangolins received much-needed attention at the 65th meeting of the CITES Standing Committee, held July 7-11 in Geneva. PHOTO: Tikki Hywood Trust
    Pangolins received much-needed attention at the 65th meeting of the CITES Standing Committee, held July 7-11 in Geneva. PHJOTO: Tikki Hywood Trust

    The 65th Meeting of the CITES Standing Committee held in Geneva yielded positive results for pangolins with the establishment of an intercessional working group on pangolins, which adopted a mandate calling for robust reporting requirements on pangolin trade and conservation.

    On Wednesday, July 9, multiple interventions were made on behalf on pangolins regarding SC65 Doc. 27.1 Enforcement Matters.

    Several pangolin range states, including India, Indonesia, mainland China and Hong Kong, expressed their concerns regarding the trafficking menace facing this species … full article at ANNAMITICUS.


    02 Jul 2014

    Species Survival Network Launches Pangolin Working Group  0

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    The Pangolin Working Group will address legal and illegal trade in pangolins to ensure that wild populations are protected, and that CITES trade restrictions are adequately implemented and enforced. PHOTO: Tikki Hywood Trust
    The Pangolin Working Group will address legal and illegal trade in pangolins to ensure that wild populations are protected, and that CITES trade restrictions are adequately implemented and enforced.
    PHOTO: Tikki Hywood Trust

    WASHINGTON, DC – The Species Survival Network (SSN), an international coalition of over 100 NGOs, has established a Pangolin Working Group to address legal and illegal trade in pangolins to ensure that wild populations are protected, and that CITES trade restrictions are adequately implemented and enforced.

    The Working Group has committed itself to ensuring that these enigmatic species are not traded into extinction and will press for the promotion, enhancement and strict enforcement of applicable national and international regulations protecting pangolins, including the commitments made by 180 of the world’s governments under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The Group will also work towards the uplisting of all eight pangolin species to CITES Appendix I, which prohibits international commercial trade … full article at ANNAMITICUS.


    22 Jun 2014

    6 Months of Pangolin Trafficking in Asia: 17 Seizures in 6 Countries  0

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    More than three tons of pangolin scales from Africa were seized in Asia during the first six months of 2014. PHOTO: Tikki Hywood Trust
    More than three tons of pangolin scales from Africa were seized in Asia during the first six months of 2014. PHOTO: Tikki Hywood Trust

    During the first six months of 2014, at least 17 pangolin trafficking incidents were reported across six Asian countries: China (including Hong Kong), India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, and Thailand.

    As of June 18, the volume of pangolin scales seized per incident ranged from two (2) to 2,340 kilograms (2.6 tons). A total of 23 suspects were arrested, including two women. Cars, pickup trucks, motorbikes, mail, and maritime freight containers were used to transport the bodies and scales of thousands of pangolins. A particularly worrying indicator is that two seizures of scales in Hong Kong — totaling just over three tons — apparently came from African pangolins … (full article at ANNAMITICUS)


    18 Jun 2014

    2 Tons of Pangolin Scales from Cameroon Seized in Hong Kong  0

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    Two tons of pangolin scales from Cameroon via Malaysia were intercepted by Hong Kong Customs officers on June 11, 2014. Photo via news.gov.hk
    Two tons of pangolin scales from Cameroon via Malaysia were intercepted by Hong Kong Customs officers on June 11, 2014. Photo via news.gov.hk

    Hong Kong Customs officials have intercepted an illegal shipment of 2.6 tons of pangolin scales from Cameroon via Malaysia — the second haul from the African continent in less than a month.

    The 2,340 kg of scales were discovered on June 11, inside 115 bags on a shipment declared as timber. A “Malaysian businessman” was arrested following the discovery, but has since been released on bail pending further investigation … (full article at ANNAMITICUS)


    03 Apr 2014

    Recent Seizure Highlights Pangolin Trafficking from Pakistan to China  0

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    Recent Seizure Highlights Pangolin Trafficking from Pakistan to China (via Annamiticus)

    Pakistan customs officials have seized 145kg of pangolin scales at Benazir Bhutto International Airport, Islamabad, from two Chinese nationals. The pair was identified as Lou Ruiyuan (passport E112653H) and Ying Fulan (passport E04400002), according…

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