It is estimated that in just ten years, more than 1 million pangolins have been traded illegally at the international level, which makes them the most trafficked wild mammals in the world.
Today, all eight species of pangolins are prohibited from all international commercial trade, but these protections will not stop the pangolin poaching crisis alone. Much more work needs to be done to stop the killing, trafficking, and demand for pangolins.
Current conservation efforts to save pangolins from extinction include:
Demand Reduction: Decrease demand for pangolin scales and meat through targeted campaigns to consumers and by building relationships with government policymakers.
Enforcement: Strengthen agencies that are protecting pangolins and their habitat such as anti-poaching units, aiding customs, and protected area management.
Combating Trafficking: Reduce the illegal trade of pangolins at national, regional, and global levels. Includes judicial reform and anti-trafficking tools and requires creating close alliances with domestic and international law enforcement and policymakers.
Public Education/Awareness: Raising the profile of pangolins as a first step towards changing behavior and encouraging conservation support.
Community Engagement: Working with local communities living adjacent to pangolin habitat so they see pangolins as something worth more alive than poached.
Conservation Planning – Given the major gaps in knowledge about pangolins, research is needed to identify and monitor pangolin strongholds, the distribution and abundance of populations, and the extent of threats like demand and trade; and multi-stakeholder processes are needed in order to prioritize and monitor conservation interventions.