Pangolins: How You Can Help Save the Species

By Jane Chu, Patrick Boehler, on September 22, 2019

The pangolin is the most illegally traded mammal in the world, prized for its scales and meat. All eight subspecies of the animal are critically endangered, yet numbers show that global seizures for this year have already surpassed 2018 by a wide margin. Furthermore, only a tenth of trafficked wildlife is actually intercepted, according to one Interpol estimate.

Without intervention, these actions will drive the animal to extinction. Here’s a list compiled by The Pangolin Reports to show how we can help to save the species.

Footage by Tommy Apriando / Tempo, Mongabay

1. It all starts with awareness.

Spread the word about the plight of pangolins by sharing our global report on the trade. The Pangolin Reports is an international network of journalists from more than ten countries and territories in Africa, Europe and Asia. We have gone undercover to document the trafficking. It is crucial that the world understands these reclusive species and why they’re so endangered. This will put pressure on governments and law enforcement to act, and help scientists get funding for their related research.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to track our reporting and documentation of the poaching, smuggling and consumption of pangolins worldwide. We are making our reporting available with a CC license so that you can share it too.

RELATED: Working With Local Hunters In Pangolin Conservation

2. Report illegal activity if you see pangolin trafficking, sale or consumption in restaurants or business establishments. Contact your local authorities or conservation groups who will be able to offer advice. This will ensure that trafficking laws can be properly enforced and endangered populations are guarded.

The international routes showing how pangolins are trafficked all around the world. Infographic: Nepali Times

3. Don’t consume pangolin products, such as Traditional Chinese Medicine potions that contain scales, pangolin wine, and fashion accessories. Help undercut the demand, and the killing will no longer be profitable.

Pangolin scales seized by Indonesian authorities during a raid. The scales are now in Bogor, Indonesia for research. Footage: Tommy Apriando / Tempo, Mongabay

4. Support wildlife advocacy groups that are trying to protect pangolins. Here is more info for groups in Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Nigeria, Cameroon and Nepal.

The Pangolin Reports compromises of over 30 journalists from 14 newsrooms across Asia, Africa and Europe who have been investigating the illegal pangolin trade since early 2019. Our global report “Trafficked to Extinction”, will be released on Sept 25. Sign up here to receive some exclusive content before the launch.

Patrick Boehler

Co-founder and editorial board member of the Environmental Reporting Collective. Patrick is an executive editor and m…

Jane Chu

Jane Chu

Jane Chu oversees logistics planning and execution for the Collective. She is based in Hong Kong and supports the Wil…