The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission (SSC) Pangolin Specialist Group has launched a new website devoted to pangolin conservation and research.
PangolinSG.org is the official site of the 65-member IUCN-SSC Pangolin Specialist Group, comprised of of scientists, veterinarians, and conservation professionals. The Group was formed in February 2012 and hopes to curb the loss and decline of wild pangolin populations by identifying and promoting strategic conservation solutions and informing effective domestic and international governmental action.
All eight species of pangolins have protection under national and international laws, and two are listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Several pangolin species are being driven to extinction due to the rampant demand for their flesh and unique scales, which are used in traditional Chinese medicine — although the medicinal effectiveness of pangolin scales is unproven. This demand is behind the thriving illegal market in pangolins.
“Each year, tens of thousands of illegally traded pangolins are seized,” said pangolin researcher Dan Challender, co-Chair of the new Specialist Group.
One of the biggest problems facing conservationists is a lack of data on the illegal trade, its routes, its sources, and even pangolins themselves. The new IUCN Pangolin Specialist Group and website will tackle this problem.
The PangolinSG.org website serves as an authoritative resource on pangolins by providing conservationists and the public with current information on the animals’ natural history, research projects, and strategies to combat the threats that put pangolins at risk.
Professor Jonathan Baillie, co-Chair of the Pangolin Specialist Group, launched the website to attendees at the IUCN 2012 World Conservation Congress in Jeju, Korea.
Source: Paul Thomson and Keri Parker, IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group, pangolinsg.org. Photos used with permission.
Author: Rhishja Cota-Larson. Learn more about Rhishja here.