PROTECTING PANGOLINS FROM POACHERS
Illegal wildlife trade is the fourth most lucrative crime, and the second-biggest direct threat to species extinction. Not only that, wildlife trafficking threatens public health because it increases the risk of diseases spreading from animals to humans. Urgent action is needed to clamp down this trade.
Why protect pangolins?
Insects, sand, and rocks
4 to 7kg
Up to 65cm
Forests, boulder cavities, burrows
In Singapore, they are mainly found in the Central Catchment Nature Reserve and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.
PANGOLIN SEIZURES IN ASIA
THREATS TO THEIR SURVIVAL
ILLEGAL WILDLIFE TRADE
HIGH DEMAND FOR ITS BODY PARTS
Demand for pangolin is high in some parts of Asia, where pangolin meat is served as a luxury dish, and skin is used to make leather products. Despite no scientifically proven health benefits, pangolin scales, blood, and foetuses are also frequently used in traditional medicine.
In Asia, commercialisation and urbanisation not only destroy the homes of pangolins, but also facilitate poaching by increasing accessibility to the forests.
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Are pangolins the most trafficked mammal in the world?They certainly are the most trafficked mammal in Asia and, increasingly, Africa.Pangolins are in high demand in countries like China and Vietnam. Their meat is considered a delicacy and pangolin scales are used in folk remedies to purportedly treat a range of ailments from asthma to rheumatism and arthritis.There is also demand in the Americas for the skins to make leather products like boots, bags, and belts. All eight pangolin species are protected under national and international laws but that is not stopping the massive international illegal trade of pangolins, which has increased in recent years because of growing demand.
How is Singapore involved in the illegal trade of pangolins?Due to Singapore’s strong connectivity to other ports in the region, Singapore is inevitably linked to the transshipment of pangolin scales (shipments passing through our ports for re-export), despite best efforts on the part of enforcement authorities. This trade is closely linked to organised crime syndicates who move illegal wildlife products via sea, air cargo or hand-carry. Illegal wildlife trade syndicates are also linked to crimes like the smuggling of illegal substances and weapons.
What can I do when I encounter a pangolin product being sold online?You can help report pangolin products for sale online through our Cyber Spotter website.
To help reduce the trade of pangolin products online, WWF, in partnership with other wildlife experts such as TRAFFIC and IFAW, is part of the Coalition to End Wildlife Trafficking Online. This Coalition brings together nearly 50 global tech companies such as Lazada and Carousell, as an industry-wide approach to reduce wildlife trafficking online. WWF will review the listings and work with members of the Coalition to remove the content from their platforms and report suspicious listings to authorities.
What is the Wildlife Cyber Spotter Program?Advances in digital connectivity, combined with rising demand for illegal wildlife products, have increased the ease of exchange of wildlife from poachers to consumers across continents. Purchasing pangolin scales, elephant ivory, tiger teeth, and other endangered wildlife products is unfortunately an easy click, pay, ship process.
The Wildlife Cyber Spotter program aims to empower individuals to be part of the solution as key citizen scientists. Under the program, our Cyber Spotter volunteers undergo compulsory training to detect illegal wildlife products online and report these listings.
If you'd like to find out more about this program, visit this page: https://cyberspotter.wwf.sg/
Is my donation tax deductible?Donations to the Pangolin Adoption program are eligible for tax deduction* as it covers our work on tackling the illegal wildlife trade in Singapore. If you wish to claim your tax deduction, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your donation details.*Tax deduction rules are subject to changes and issuance of tax deduction receipts will follow the latest tax policies published by IRAS.