Asian and African pangolins are among the most threatened animals in the wild by poachers. They are considered to be the most traded animals. This is why authorities decided to intervene and save the animals’ populations from being decimated.
The new law is an initiative from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). One hundred eighty states agreed on the convention which bans poachers to kill and trade pangolins. Although authorities know that poachers always find a way to carry on with their business, they hope that the new law will make it harder for them.
At the same time, the ban on hunting the animals gives Asian and African pangolins a new chance to survival. Wildlife experts account for eight pangolin species, which are now under the law’s protection. The new law was voted on September 28.
Pangolins are exotic animals which are not known by many people. They are harmless animals, which feed on insects such as ants and termites and live in Asia and Africa. They have a remarkable defense mechanism, which makes them roll and run. Their bodies are protected by an armor of scales which help them roll.
Unfortunately, it is their scales which place pangolins in the same category as rhinos and elephants, namely a target for poachers. Asian collectors consider pangolin scales to be extremely valuable, as well as a way to show off their wealth. What’s more, traditional medicine also uses body parts from the animals for cures.
As opposed to rhinos and elephants, pangolins are also hunted for their meat. However, regardless of the reason why these animals are killed, the important thing is that they are on the verge of extinction.
Some of the authorities believe that banning the practice will make both dealers and collectors more eager for such prey. Nevertheless, the only available solutions to prevent and prohibit commerce with wild animals are strong enforcement and regulations. The new rules might apply to Asian and African pangolins which are now in captivity, as far as their breeding process is concerned.
According to official statistics, over one million pangolins have been bought and sold in the last ten years. Specialists predict that if they don’t take action, the next generation of pangolins will be doomed. The animals are not threatened only by poachers, but also by habitat loss.
Image courtesy of: Wikipedia