The IUCN SSC recently re-formed Pangolin Specialist Group has launched a new website devoted to pangolin conservation and research.
Pangolins, also known as scaly anteaters, are insect-eating mammals found in Asia and Africa. They are predominantly nocturnal and are elusive and secretive. There are eight pangolin species and all are protected under national and international laws. Two species, the Chinese Pangolin (Manis pentadactyla) and Malayan Pangolin (Manis javanica) are listed as Endangered on The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Despite protection by laws, they are still threatened by habitat loss and illegal trade for their meat and unique scales, for use in traditional medicine.
“Although tens of thousands of illegally traded pangolins are seized each year, some of the biggest problems facing conservationists is a lack of data about this illegal trade, its routes, its sources, and even about the animals themselves,” says pangolin researcher Dan Challender, co-Chair of the IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group.
The Pangolin Specialist Group's website, www.PangolinSG.org, will serve as an authoritative resource on pangolins, providing conservationists and the public with current information about the animals’ natural history, research projects, and strategies to combat the threats that put pangolins at risk.
‘’This website represents the beginning of a major effort to rapidly scale up pangolin conservation, “says Jonathan Baillie, co-Chair of the IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group. “The site is already raising the profile of these amazing creatures, uniting pangolin supporters all over the world, providing the latest information on their status and trends and promoting conservation on the ground’’
The Pangolin Specialist Group comprises scientists, veterinarians, and conservation professionals. The members aim to curb the loss and decline of wild pangolin populations by identifying and promoting strategic conservation solutions and informing effective domestic and international governmental action.