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Pangolins

Jackie Chan fights for pangolins

Martial arts superstar and wildlife champion Jackie Chan is calling for an end to consuming pangolin products in a new public service announcement for WildAid and The Nature Conservancy.

In "Kung Fu Pangolin," Chan spreads the message that pangolins are now all protected by law, and he urges viewers not to consume pangolin products. While many people may have never heard of pangolins, they are the most heavily trafficked mammals on the planet. An estimated one million have been poached from the wild over the past decade.

Ugandans value their wildlife, first ever survey shows

In the first nationwide survey of its kind in Uganda, 79% percent of respondents said it would matter a great deal to them if the country’s wildlife disappeared, while only 5% said they did not care about their wildlife heritage.

2,300 Ugandans based in both rural and urban areas participated in the survey, which was carried out by Uganda Conservation Foundation, WildAid and Uganda Wildlife Authority.

Tour of the Macabre at the National Wildlife Property Repository

Andrew Wegst (courtesy USFWS)

What’s scarier than the goriest slasher film? How about a stuffed tiger fetus? Or what about 45,000 dead seahorses — dried, wrapped in plastic and sitting in a cavernous warehouse full of seized illegal wildlife products?

Frighteningly enough, both – and even worse - can be found at the National Wildlife Property Repository just outside of Denver.

Coleen Schaefer, Supervisory Wildlife Repository Specialist runs the repository for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, providing tours to bring the grim reality of the thousands of animal products trafficked in the U.S. annually. The 22,000-square-foot facility is filled to the rafters with tiger skins, ivory tusks and trinkets, traditional Chinese medicines made from rhino horn and various parts from endangered species.

Victory! CITES Approves Strong Protections for Pangolins

Paul Hilton for WildAid

Good news! Today, the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) has voted to protect all eight species of pangolins - small and reclusive scaly mammals being driven to near extinction by unsustainable poaching. Pangolins will be uplisted to CITES Appendix I, which bars international trade and provides for better domestic protection in key countries such as Vietnam and China. 

"Rarely has CITES been so united. This action today was much-needed if pangolins are to survive and may be one of the most important outcomes of this meeting," WildAid CEO Peter Knights said from the CITES Conference of the Parties in Johannesburg. "That these proposals to protect pangolins came from countries like Vietnam and were passed with near-unanimous support is highly encouraging. The challenge now is law enforcement and demand reduction, but the uplisting will help both. Penalties will now be much higher in key countries."

 
WildAid is already engaged in reducing demand in China and Vietnam in celebrity led campaigns and has released footage of pangolin capture and trade. Its report Pangolins: On the Brink identifies consumer demand for pangolin scales and meat as the primary driver of the eight pangolin species' sharp decline throughout Africa and Asia. 
 
Demand for pangolin scales (used in Traditional Chinese Medicine) as well as pangolin meat, considered by some as a delicacy, is highest in China and Vietnam. Though there is no scientific evidence to support alleged curative properties or the keratin scales, a 2015 WildAid survey found that 70% of Chinese believe pangolin products have medicinal value; scales are used to "cure" rheumatism, skin disorders and wound infections. In Vietnam, 64% of survey respondents said they had heard about the "curative" properties of pangolin scales.

Report: Pangolins Need Stronger Protections to Survive

Sunda Pangolin (Paul Hilton for WildAid)

SAN FRANCISCO (September 21, 2016) — Pangolins, the small, reclusive mammals unique for their armor of overlapping scales, are being driven to near extinction by unsustainable poaching and need stronger international protections in order to survive, according to a new WildAid report and dramatic video of pangolin poaching and trafficking released Wednesday.

WildAid’s new report, Pangolins on the Brink, identifies consumer demand for pangolin scales and meat as the primary driver of the eight pangolin species’ sharp decline throughout Africa and Asia. Despite this, pangolins are not protected under Appendix I of the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which prohibits commercial trade. Officials will consider multiple proposals that call for uplisting pangolins to Appendix I at the CITES Conference of the Parties 17, which begins Friday in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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