Stories

Ground pangolin. Lawrence Weitz
  • The Curious Case of Pangolin Scales September 9, 2021

    The most distinctive feature of pangolins are their scales. Each scale is composed of keratin, the same protein found in human hair and fingernails. As the only mammal covered in scales, their armor protects them from nearly all predatory attacks, including a lion's bite.

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  • Pangopups: All About Baby Pangolins September 1, 2021

    Did you know that baby pangolins are sometimes called pangopups? You can usually find a pangopup clinging atop the mother pangolin’s scaly tail. Early on, pangolin mothers protect their young in underground burrows while their pangopup’s soft pink scales harden.

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  • Wildlife Crime: Fueling a Global Biodiversity Crisis August 13, 2021

    Wildlife crime is a serious threat to global biodiversity and is depleting certain species to the point of extinction. Lesser-known animals, like pangolins, are so heavily trafficked that they are declining at a faster rate than some larger, more well-known species.

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  • Online Wildlife Trafficking has Spiked During the Pandemic August 2, 2021

    Illegal wildlife trafficking activity has increased online during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is largely due to Southeast Asian governments placing heightened travel restrictions, trade suspensions, and lockdowns between countries, which prevented traffickers from conducting business as usual.

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  • Animal Heroes that Protect Wildlife July 15, 2021

    A recent article from the New Big 5 explores how trained animals play a crucial role in helping conservationists protect endangered animals. One example of these specialized animals are APOPO's African giant pouched rats, which have been dubbed "Hero Rats" due to their amazing skill at helping authorities detect smuggled pangolin scales and products.

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  • Persistent Pangolins: Nature’s Pest Control and Soil Caretakers July 8, 2021

    Wherever an immense number of ants and termites exist, a pangolin is sure to be found and ready to feast on at least 70 million insects per year. Their ravenous appetite plays a crucial role in regulating ant and termite populations and aids in maintaining balance in the ecosystem by preventing insects from over-harvesting trees and eroding the soil.

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