RAISING AWARENESS FOR THE WORLD'S MOST TRAFFICKED MAMMAL
We decided to select the Pangolin as our latest animal for two main reasons:
A majority of people don’t know that this amazing animal even exists, so how fun is it to learn something new and make an immediate difference in helping them!
Pangolins are sadly themost trafficked mammalin the world, sought after for this scales and meat.
WHAT ARE PANGOLINS?
While this little guy may look like an anteater, armadillo, and sloth mixed together — and certainly shares some traits with them — it’s actually of the orderPholidotaand is the ONLY species in that order. In fact, it’s closest related order isCarnivora,the order that contains dogs, cats, hyenas, bears and seals.
Pangolins are insect-eating mammals that are covered in tough, overlapping scales. There are eight pangolin species living across Asia and Africa. All eight species of pangolins are threatened with extinction. More than 1 million pangolins have been trafficked in the last decade, making them the most heavily trafficked mammal in the world.
Their scales are used in traditional Asian medicines and their meat is considered a luxury food throughout Asia.
Poaching for illegal wildlife trade and habitat loss have made these incredible creatures one of the most threatened groups.
Pangolins live off ants and termites, they have a massive tongue that islonger than their entire body head to tail, perfectly equipped to probe into ant and termite tunnels. Their long front claws are also great to dig away dirt and make openings in tunnels for their tongue intrusion!
Pangolins are actually quite picky eaters and only eat specific species of ants and termites; this is partially what makes them very challenging to care for in any kind of captivity even when it is a rescue & rehabilitation operation.
It is believed we are losing one Pangolin every 5 minutes to poaching for their scales and meat.
This is an astonishing rate to lose any life for greed and excessive consumption. If we don’t create more awareness and support soon, we will lose all of the world’s pangolins.
Pangolins are nocturnal animals, meaning they are active and eating at nighttime. They have very poor eyesight but make up for that with an extremely strong sense of smell and hearing. Pangolins are very independent, solitary creatures, and typically only come together to mate. Some Pangolins live in trees and others are ground dwelling and can burrow tunnels underground.
When young, all pangolins love to ride on their mother’s back, as seen below:
SCALES & DEFENSE MECHANISMS:
Like many wild animals, what makes them so physically unique and special also leads to their doom when it comes to human greed and obsession with consumption and dominance.
Pangolins are theonly mammal in the world completely covered in scales.These scales are made of keratin, the same material our fingernails and hair is made of. In some Asian cultures, particularly Chinese, they believe Pangolin scales are medicinal with special powers, which has led to their poaching and illegal demand, but there is no scientific data to back this claim up!
The natural defense mechanism of the Pangolin is to roll into a ball, making it impossible for predators to get at their soft bellies.
Of course, this defense does not work so well against human poachers, who simply pick up the rolled up Pangolin and toss it in their sack.
ROLE IN THE ECOSYSTEM:
Pangolins are ecosystem engineers; they dig tunnels and burrows that help aerate the soil and create habitat for other species. Believe it or not, one pangolin can eat 70 million insects in one year — that’s important pest control!
MEET THE BENEFITTING CONSERVATION - SAVE PANGOLINS:
Save Pangolins envisions a world where all eight pangolin species are safe from extinction. To get there, we must stop the killing, stop the trafficking, and stop the demand. Save Pangolins aims to inspire people to conserve pangolins, change behavior that drives the illegal trade, and increase the capacity of conservation on the ground where pangolins live. They provide expertise and leadership in coordinating global pangolin conservation efforts and run campaigns that engage the public and generate funds for conservation.
Save Pangolins is taking a modern and innovative approach to conservation. They have almost no overhead costs, in order to effectively channel funds directly to their conservation programs:
Fund conservationists working at the frontlines to save pangolins
Facilitate coordination and communication among pangolin conservation programs and researchers across the world
Educate and inspire the public through targeted media campaigns
Created and manage the Pangolin Crisis Fund
Belong to the IUCN-SSC Pangolin Specialist Group and help shape stakeholder communications, outreach campaigns, policy, research, and conservation
PANGOLIN PERSONALITY QUIZ:
A Pangolin just might be your spirit animal if:
You are a bit more of an introvert
When eating pasta or ramen, you like to slurp your noodles
You are non-confrontational
You liked piggy-back rides as a child
You are a bit mysterious to others
People think they can label you right when they see you but are often mistaken
If you meet a majority of those traits, you just might be a Pangolin!
People all over the world can help. Here are some of the ways to make a difference:
Tell your friends and family about pangolins. In recent years, more people around the world have learned about pangolins and the threats to them. This has directly led to more support for policy reform, scientific research, and more conservation efforts. Educate yourself, your friends, family and co-workers on the situation facing our world's pangolins. Through education, we learn not to be ignorant. Have a conversation and spread the word.
Do not support Pangolin products. Do not purchase medicine made out of pangolins, pangolin wine, jewelry, scales, or leather.
Refuse food with Pangolin meat.
Report wildlife crime. If you see pangolins and other illegal wildlife in restaurants or other business establishments, contact your local authorities.
Donate to worthy causes and organizations that are helping save pangolins. Any amount helps! (please do your homework, as some underhanded organizations are taking advantage of caring people at this vulnerable time).
Raise money for pangolins - Host a yard or bake sale. Return empty bottles or hold a car wash. There are countless innovative ways to support Pangolin conservation.
Write to your political representative demanding that they do all they can to stop the merciless trade of Pangolin products. Sign an online petition to stir up support - make your own at: https://www.change.org/
Visit countries that have pangolins. This lets governments know that animals are worth more to them alive and forces them to put their support into conservation and preventing poaching and black market trades.
And of course, you can buy one of our beautiful 100% Recycled I Love Pangolins Tee, to not only promote awareness of this incredible animal but directly contribute 20% to our partner organization, Save Pangolins, with your purchase.