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15 Feb 2018

USAID Unveils Field Guide to Combat Pangolin Trafficking  0

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Developed by the USAID Wildlife Asia project, the Pangolin Species Identification Guide: A Rapid Assessment Tool for Field and Desk will make it easier for law enforcement officers to identify pangolins and pangolin parts — such as scales and skins — they may encounter in the field.

BANGKOK, February 16, 2018 – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is marking World Pangolin Day on February 17 by unveiling a new guide to help law enforcement officers identify species and origins of pangolins, the world’s most trafficked mammals, in a bid to curb the illegal trade in wildlife.

Developed by the USAID Wildlife Asia project, the Pangolin Species Identification Guide: A Rapid Assessment Tool for Field and Desk will make it easier for law enforcement officers to identify pangolins and pangolin parts — such as scales and skins — they may encounter in the field. The guide provides species identification characteristics and range maps, allowing officers to identify pangolins and their likely country of origin.

“This guide will be a great benefit for frontline law enforcement officers who work at entry ports, such as international airports, seaports and land border crossings, to effectively enforce any laws relating to pangolins,” said Pinsak Suraswadi, Deputy Director General of Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP).

In 2017, authorities seized 32 tons of pangolin scales and 563 live pangolins in Southeast Asia and China. According to recent research published in Conservation Letters, up to 2.7 million pangolins are being killed every year in Central Africa alone. In many cases seized pangolins are not identified properly, making it difficult to know the original source of the trafficked individuals.

“We have to act now to protect pangolins, as they are at high risk of extinction,” said acting USAID Regional Development Mission for Asia Director Richard Goughnour. “This guide is one important contribution to better equip law enforcement officers to succeed in fighting this crime.”

USAID Wildlife Asia gave a preview of the guide at the November 2017 Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Standing Committee meeting in Geneva. “The CITES Secretariat has already made the guide available on the CITES Virtual College, the World Customs Organization Environet platform, and more widely distributed it among the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime partner organizations, to make it available as widely as possible to officers responsible for wildlife law enforcement in the front lines,” said CITES Secretary-General John E. Scanlon.

USAID Wildlife Asia will further support pangolin identification with plans to roll out in late 2018 an interactive smartphone application to aid law enforcement and customs officials in the identification of pangolins and pangolin products.

USAID Wildlife Asia and the DNP will use the new guide at Thailand’s first-ever pangolin husbandry workshop to train customs and relevant law enforcement authorities to improve survival and release rates of live pangolins confiscated in the illegal wildlife trade.

All eight species of pangolin, four in Asia and four in Africa, are illegal to trade and are listed in CITES Appendix I, the highest level of international protection. Thailand is home to two pangolin species, the Sunda pangolin (Manis javanica) and the Chinese pangolin (Manis pentadactyla). The primary destinations for pangolin scales and meat are China and to a lesser extent, Vietnam. Criminals frequently use Thailand as a transit point in the illegal pangolin trade.

The Pangolin Species Identification Guide is available on www.usaidwildlifeasia.org in English and Thai and will also be translated in Indonesian, Malaysian, Mandarin and Vietnamese. Mobile application is available at Play Store (https://goo.gl/NGpkzJ) and App Store (https://goo.gl/T9UVMQ)

About USAID Wildlife Asia

The USAID Wildlife Asia Activity works to address wildlife trafficking as a transnational crime. The project aims to reduce consumer demand for wildlife parts and products, strengthen law enforcement, enhance legal and political commitment, and support regional collaboration to reduce wildlife crime in Southeast Asia, particularly: Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and China. Species focus of USAID Wildlife Asia include elephant, rhinoceros, tiger and pangolin. For more information, please visit www.usaidwildlifeasia.org


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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03 Jan 2014

Pangolin Trafficking: Over 8,000 Pangolins Seized in 2013  0

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Pangolin Trafficking: Over 8,000 Pangolins Seized in 2013 (via Annamiticus)

2013 was another deadly year for pangolins, with an estimated 8,125 of these shy creatures confiscated in 49 instances of illegal trade across 13 countries. Because seizures represent just 10 to 20 percent of the actual illegal trade volume, this strongly…

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28 Nov 2013

122 Live Pangolins Seized in Thailand, One in Zimbabwe  0

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122 Live Pangolins Seized in Thailand, One in Zimbabwe (via Annamiticus)

Thai customs officials intercepted the smuggling of 122 live pangolins, which were stowed away in sacks inside an SUV, and believed to be headed for China. It is thought that the pangolins were captured in Indonesia and/or Malaysia. The incident occurred…

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09 Nov 2013

Pangolin Scales Seized in Hong Kong, 2 Arrested [Photos]  0

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Pangolin Scales Seized in Hong Kong, 2 Arrested [Photos] (via Annamiticus)

Hong Kong Customs foiled a pangolin smuggling operation on October 30, 2013, when a “suspicious” fishing vessel was observed leaving the port of Tap Shek Kok. Officers gave chase and intercepted the vessel near the island of Sha Chau. In addition…

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25 Oct 2013

Pangolin Trafficking: 2011 to October 2013 [Infographic]  0

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Pangolin Trafficking: 2011 to October 2013 [Infographic] (via Annamiticus)

During the months of August through October 2013, at least 2,804 pangolins were recorded in 15 pangolin trafficking incidents across seven countries. This conservative figure represents both live and dead pangolins, as well as pangolin scales, destined…

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