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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


12 Feb 2018

Seventh Annual World Pangolin Day Celebrated on 17 February 2018  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 17, 2018!

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:

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

    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

    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