Awareness of the pangolin's plight is greater than it has ever been—the necessary first step to the effective enforcement of wildlife laws.
The Chinese Pangolin resembles a scaly ant-eater. Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee). "The creation of urban luxury markets for wild meat, especially where wild meat has been consumed historically, has been a key driver in the trade of pangolins," he says. Copyright © 2016~2020 Sixth Tone. According to expert estimates in 2010, the demand for pangolins in the Pangolin scales, like rhino horn, have no proven medicinal value, yet they are used in traditional Chinese medicine to help with ailments ranging from lactation difficulties to arthritis. “Contrary to the beliefs of some, they hold no medicinal value.”. "They aren't designed to deal with this sort of threat.". The worrying thing is the number of countries from which African pangolins have been [taken]," he says. The official pharmacopoeia of the People's Republic of China included Chinese pangolin scales as an ingredient in TCM formulations.
"The species here in Southeast Asia are getting absolutely hammered by a very large-scale, well-organized, systematic collection and trade to supply demand in China," says Chris Shepherd, Southeast Asia regional director of the wildlife protection organization TRAFFIC. They are also consumed as bush meat in many parts of Africa. The use of pangolin in traditional Chinese medicine dates from the Ming Dynasty, when Li Shizhen wrote Bencao Gangmu, an herbology tome that remained a key reference for centuries. People in countries like Gabon, Kenya, Cameroon, Nigeria, and the Central African Republic have grown more aware of the value of pangolins to international traffickers. Don’t worry! The stomach of pangolins contains small rocks and pebbles that they consume to aid in digestion. Pangolin is not the only species to become endangered because of consumption demands. With pangolin supplies in China and nearby countries dried up, wildlife traffickers have looked further afield. countdown has finished before clicking the resend button. In February, Chinese social media lit up with incredulity at a two-year-old post where a writer boasted of being treated to a pangolin dinner by government officials.
"It's one of the most lucrative animals that you can easily get. The head and body range between 40 to 58 centimetres, while the tail can reach up to 38 centimetres. Inside each is a pangolin — an odd-looking creature that, over the past decade, has become the most heavily trafficked wild mammal in the world, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
So far this year, more than six tons of African pangolin scales have been seized prior export to Asia — more than the combined total of all previous seizures on the continent.
The seizure is one of many. This neon-soaked eatery in Mong La, a shabby town in a tiny rebel-held fief on the China-Myanmar border, is just one end-point of a global trade that is pushing the pangolin to the brink of extinction. According to expert estimates in 2010, the demand for pangolins in the Chinese market is around 200,000 animals each year: half for food, and half for medicinal products. At the moment, each pangolin resembles a ball about the size of a melon, covered in crocodile-like scales. Earlier this month, the IUCN designated the yellow-breasted bunting — a species now believed to increase men’s sexual potency — “critically endangered” because “the overall rate of population decline is even greater than previously thought.” In 2000, the species was merely listed as “lower risk/least concern.”, (Header image: A smuggled pangolin is shown by Thai customs officials during a press conference in Bangkok, Aug. 31, 2017. The creature's scales — made from keratin, the same substance as human fingernails and hair (as well as Rhino horn) — are also prescribed by traditional doctors to treat skin disorders and other ailments —despite lacking medical benefits.
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