‘Pangolin Power’ features organizations that are helping pangolins.
TRAFFIC Southeast Asia is one of the world’s most important voices for pangolins. Based in Kuala Lumpur, this regional office of TRAFFIC monitors wildlife trade in Cambodia, Brunei, Timor Leste, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam.
As both a major supplier and consumer of wildlife products, Southeast Asia plays a significant role in the wildlife trade.
The region includes some of the world’s poorest countries, where the rich biodiversity is exploited by communities to eke out an existence. Elsewhere, greater affluence in rapidly developing areas has led to increased demand and purchasing power for wildlife products.
Curbing the unsustainable use of wildlife is especially challenging in Southeast Asia; the illegal wildlife trade still operates openly in some areas. Meanwhile, authorities turn a blind eye (or worse).
Research, analysis, and solutions
TRAFFIC Southeast Asia (like all TRAFFIC regional programs) provides expert research-based analysis of conservation problems, and proposes innovative solutions and strategies for curbing unsustainable trade in wildlife.
Research findings are communicated to decision-makers and influential audiences, most notably at regional, national, and international treaty meetings.
TRAFFIC often facilitates multi-sector and inter-governmental consideration of solutions to wildlife trade-related conservation challenges, and organizes training for officials responsible for wildlife trade regulation.
For example, check out the “Investigators and Prosecutors Course on Wildlife Crime“, a workshop attended by enforcement agency officers from Brunei Darussalam, Sabah and Sarawak, and Indonesia.
Pangolin trade at ‘ridiculous levels’
Following a series of seizures (representing thousands of individual pangolins) in Indonesia, Chris R. Shepherd, Deputy Regional Director of TRAFFIC Southeast Asia noted his concern about the future of pangolins.
The number of pangolins falling victim to this trade has reached ridiculous levels. There is no way quantities like these will leave wild populations unaffected.
Between 2000 and 2009, TRAFFIC reported that at least 30,000 pangolins were confiscated from wildlife smugglers.
Connect with TRAFFIC Southeast Asia on Facebook® here.
- Download the October 2011 TRAFFIC Bulletin (focus on Southeast Asia) here.
- Download TRAFFIC Southeast Asia’s pangolin poster here.
Watch ‘Pangolins in peril’ by TRAFFIC:
Pangolin populations are declining rapidly in Southeast Asia, due to the continued consumption of pangolin scales, flesh, and fetuses under the auspices of traditional Chinese medicine. However, there is no scientific evidence to support claims of the scaly anteater’s curative powers.
TRAFFIC works to ensure that trade in wild plants and animals is not a threat to the conservation of nature, and is a joint conservation program of WWF and IUCN.
Learn more at traffic.org.
Image © TRAFFIC Southeast Asia