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Nearly 900,000 pangolins sold illegally worldwide in twenty years, according to an NGO – Insurance for Pets

The small mammal, an endangered species, is the most poached in the world, especially for its scales widely used in traditional Asian medicine.


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Massive poaching. Nearly 900,000 pangolins, an endangered animal, have been sold illegally worldwide over the past two decades, an NGO monitoring illegal animal trafficking channels said on Thursday (February 21st).

The NGO Traffic estimated that around 895,000 pangolins sold illegally between 2000 and 2019 worldwide. « Not a day goes by without seeing a seizure of wild animals in Southeast Asia and often the volumes are impressive », noted Kanitha Krishnasamy, director of the NGO in the region. Some 96,000 kilos of scales were thus confiscated between 2017 and 2019, in Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam.

The small mammal is the most poached in the world, for its scales which are widely used in traditional Asian medicine, for virtues which have not been proven, and its flesh appreciated by gourmets.

The shy ant-eating animal, which curls up in front of predators, occurs in the wild in Southeast Asia and tropical Africa. It is also increasingly hunted in this part of Africa. In 2016, the International Convention on Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) strictly prohibited its trade.

Despite this measure, traffic continues. The NGO called for tougher sanctions against traffickers to close markets and platforms for the online trade in wildlife.

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