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Make a date with the pangolin

By on February 12, 2014 in EDGE Fellows, Focal species, Mammals, Pangolin

This Valentine’s weekend make a date with the pangolin for World Pangolin Day, February 15th

Lonely pangolin with luscious long tail and perfect scales seeks partner who enjoys walks through the forest and curling up in a warm den. Must enjoy the underground scene and nightlife. No time wasters – on the EDGE of Existence.

Covered in tough keratin scales and armed with sharp claws the pangolin, or ‘scaly anteater’, is one of the most unique animals on the planet. There are eight species of pangolin found in Africa and Asia where they feed primarily on ants and termites.

Today pangolins face an uncertain future. They are poached in extremely high numbers for their meat and scales. This illegal trade is driven by phenomenal demand primarily from Asia. Although international trade of pangolins has been illegal since 2000 they are the most commonly confiscated mammal species in Asia. Estimates suggest that in 2012 60,000 pangolins were poached from the wild.

The EDGE top 100 mammals features two species of pangolins. The Sunda pangolin (No. 92) is found in Southeast Asia whilst the Chinese pangolin (No. 91) inhabits the forests from southern China to Nepal.

Pangolins are on the edge of existence and if the illegal trade of their body parts is not controlled then they may not see many more Valentine’s days.

Saturday 15th February 2014 is the third annual World Pangolin Day. This is an opportunity to help raise awareness of this incredible species. Please send this Valentine’s card to your loved ones to share the plight of the pangolin.

Please consider donating to the EDGE of Existence programme to help us support EDGE Fellows working to conserve wild Chinese and Sunda pangolins.

For more information about pangolin conservation visit the IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group.