The pangolin, also known as the "scaly anteater", is currently the most trafficked mammal in the world. In Asia and Africa pangolins are hunted illegally for their meat and scales. Their meat is considered a delicacy in regions of China and Vietnam, and their scales are used in a number of tradicional medicines in Asia and Africa. This demand has given rise to an organised international black market trafficking this animal.
According to Annamiticus, an international NGO that monitors the illegal wildlife trade, in 2016, approximately 18,670 tonnes of pangolin scales seized; 13,400 of them, plundered from the African continent and seized in Hong Kong. Specifically, 4,000 tonnes were trafficked from Cameroon, 7,300 tonnes from Nigeria, and 2,100 tonnes from Ghana. Also, across the 19 countries reporting pangolín trade incidents, 676 pangolin carcasses and 611 pangolin alive were found.
The African Pangolin Working Group (APWG) has stated that populations of all four pangolin species in Africa are declining due to the illegal market trade, which makes Pangolin one of the most vulnerable species of our time.
In the next episode of "The Traffickers", Nelufar shows how the illegal trade of pangolin operates in the Asian continent, highlighting how critical it is to stop criminal activities endangering wildlife. Don't miss it, December 11th, 10:00 PM EST on FUSION, or you can get the entire season on iTunes.