Pangolins threatened by criminal networks in southern Africa
Pangolins are under threat from illegal trafficking networks, conservationists said Wednesday, as they urged southern African countries to step up protection of one of the world's most smuggled mammals.
Around 100,000 pangolins are plucked from the wild each year in Africa and Asia, according to conservation group WildAid.
The flesh of these endangered scaled mammals is considered a delicacy in China and Vietnam, where their bones and blood are also used for traditional medicine.
Demand for pangolin scales has exploded over the past decade, with seizures rising from 21 kilogrammes in 2011 (56 pounds) to 68,000 kilogrammes this year, says WildAid.
That trade became illegal when pangolins were placed under full protection from international trade by the wild fauna and flora CITES convention in 2016.
But an EU-funded research project has found that criminal gangs have since tapped into the industry.
It is vital that we understand and prevent the illicit trade in pangolins before it is too late, said researcher Richard Chelin in a statement on Wednesday.
He added that strategies to combat illegal wildlife trafficking had focused mainly on iconic species such as elephants and rhinos, at the expense of lesser-known animals such as pangolins.
The threat to the rhino shows that early interventions are better than reactive measures at the height of a crisis, said Chelin.
Southern Africa remains the only region with a reasonably healthy pangolin population.
Conservationists are lobbying the government to do more to protect the species.
A small fine or a few days in jail is not a deterrent for organised criminals in a high-value industry, said South Africa environmental inspector Fanie Masango.
While hunting elephant and rhino in South Africa can lead to a 100,000 rand (6,730 dollars) fine and a ten-year prison sentence, a pangolin hunter can get away with 1,500 rand (around 100 dollars).
(2019/11/08 08:44)Click Here for Japanese Translation
AFP-JIJI PRESS NEWS JOURNAL
- 11/12 10:04 Vietnam deer rediscovered after nearly 30 years
- 11/12 09:20 Britain's KSI edges Paul as YouTubers fight show a hit
- 11/12 09:05 Mothers-to-be fear for their unborn in smog-choked Delhi
- 11/12 08:49 Thousands join French march against Islamophobia
- 11/12 08:41 From a gravel pitch to glory-- world champion Kolisi comes home
- 11/12 08:25 Russia releases last belugas from 'whale jail'
- 11/11 09:27 Americans have more debt, need family help to buy homes-- report
- 11/11 09:13 Actress Haenel hailed for breaking France's #MeToo 'silence'
- 11/11 09:02 Pupils learn to assemble AK-47 rifles as Russia marks Kalashnikov's centenary
- 11/11 08:46 French woman told not French enough for Quebec residency
- 11/11 08:39 E-cigs may damage the heart, study says
- 11/11 08:30 Russian goat who made unlikely friends with tiger dies
- 11/08 10:40 US lab identifies rare new HIV strain
- 11/08 09:30 Chinese experts to help in Notre-Dame reconstruction
- 11/08 09:00 China imposes curfew on minors in gaming crackdown
- 11/08 08:50 Huge trove of mammoth skeletons found in Mexico
- 11/08 08:44 Pangolins threatened by criminal networks in southern Africa
- 11/08 08:34 James Dean 'cast' in new movie, 64 years after death
- 11/07 09:37 Malaysia hands jail term to laundrette cat killer
- 11/07 09:21 Software behind self-driving Uber crash didn't recognize jaywalkers
- 11/07 09:12 Lost pup turns out to be a rare purebred dingo
- 11/07 09:04 'Help! What is this?' Net users take to Reddit for STD diagnosis
- 11/07 08:52 Australia's women and men footballers to get equal pay
- 11/07 08:43 French film icon Catherine Deneuve suffers stroke
- 11/06 15:57 Brown loyal to Japan's Joseph, rejects All Blacks offers
- 11/06 15:40 Trump Jr releases provocative book defending father
- 11/06 09:14 Neymar escapes with warning over Cup final fan slap
- 11/06 09:03 French Resistance figure Yvette Lundy dies aged 103
- 11/06 08:55 42 years on, Voyager 2 charts interstellar space
- 11/06 08:34 US telecom regulator approves T-Mobile/Sprint merger
- 11/05 09:46 New battery design can charge an electric car in 10 minutes
- 11/05 09:22 Holocaust survivors meet their saviour 75 years later
- 11/05 09:09 They'll be first-time voters in 2020 and they're all in for Trump
- 11/05 08:48 A year before 2020 election, a divided and 'angry' America
- 11/05 08:39 Boat stuck above Niagara Falls for over a century moves downriver
- 11/05 08:31 Bursting at the seams-- inside an IS prison in Syria