We have released a new, in-depth article in our “Buyers of” series on wildlife trafficking. The article “Buyers of Pangolin Scales” focuses on the high-value pangolin trade and the consumers who have historically and recently purchased pangolin scales, meat, and other parts. The article pieces together the scope of pangolin exploitation by summarizing historical and modern reports on the subjects of pangolin poaching, trafficking, demand drivers, and African and Asian end-consumers.
All eight species of pangolin are currently being exploited in their native African and Asian range states, primarily for use by consumers in China and Vietnam as well as the international Chinese pharmaceutical industry. Ignorance of these species and their cultural importance to some groups has allowed poaching, habitat degradation, and deforestation to play key roles in the enrichment of organized crime syndicates and the population decline of these little-known species. Recently international regulations on commercial trade have been put in place, but it remains to be seen what enforcement countries opt to put in place.
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