The Illegal Pangolin Trade

Posted by M ws On Tuesday, September 13, 2011 2 comments
Earlier this afternoon, I came across this report on Last stand in Asia for shy, defenseless anteater by Dennis D. Gray of Associated Press and was horrified to discover this:

The pangolin trade — banned in 2002 by CITES, the international convention on endangered species — resembles a pyramid.

At the base are poor rural hunters, including workers on Indonesia's vast palm oil plantations. They use dogs or smoke to flush the pangolins out or shake the solitary, nocturnal animals from trees in often protected forests.

"Everything is against them. ... They have no teeth. Their only defense is to roll up in a ball that fits perfectly into a bag," Shepherd says. Under stress, pangolins can develop stomach ulcers and die

Middlemen set up buying stations in rural areas and deliver the animals through secretive networks to the less than dozen kingpins in Asia suspected of handling the international connections.

Factories in Sumatra butcher the pangolins, slitting their throats, then stripping off and drying the valuable scales. CLICK HERE for more.

Thereafter, I surfed the net for more information on the illegal pangolin trade. I was utterly appalled when I saw the photographs at this blog post on Pangolin Poaching Pandemic: At Least 22,200 Lives Claimed in Malaysia in Less Than Two Years.

According to that article from Bush Warriors:

When a pangolin poaching syndicate was busted in Malaysia last year, authorities confiscated log books that contained the group’s darkest secrets. Wildlife trade monitoring network, TRAFFIC, was granted permission to review these records, and their findings are shocking. At least 22,200 pangolins were killed and over 834 kilograms (more than 1,835 pounds) of their scales had been exported in just 20 months. The numbers are likely even higher, as periods of activity were missing from the ledger.

According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, numbers of wild Sunda Pangolins have halved in the past 15 years. (Read more here)

For certain, the pangolin smuggling crisis can only be addressed through improved law enforcement and better information on the criminal syndicates behind the trade.

Those with information on those behind these crimes against Malayasia’s natural heritage be it pangolins or any other living creature should report to the relevant authorities for action.

2 comments to The Illegal Pangolin Trade

  1. says:

    Antares Whenever I read such news, I begin to understand why some folks seem to suffer such heavy karmic burdens - like being crushed by tumbling boulders, run over by tanks, mauled to death by tigers, dying slowly of disease. I guess some of them must have been poachers, fur-traders, whale-hunters and animal or human traffickers in a parallel lifetime... no hell is too intense for humans who earn a living through inflicting such great suffering on others, whether animal or human. Take heed, all Special Branch officers who happen to be reading this.

  1. says:

    masterwordsmith Dear Antares

    Thank you so much for such a passionate response which bears testimony of your love for life, man and creature alike. Like you, I am utterly outraged that there are those who are supposedly human but behave worse than animals! They will have to answer to their maker one day! Take care and have a great weekend!


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