Pangolins under threat as illegal trafficking grows

This elusive creature may be little known by the public, but it's actually the most common victim of poaching. In the face of this mass hunting, NGOs are calling for strong actions to protect the pangolin.

This is the world’s most poached mammal.

In just one decade, over a million pangolins would have been killed to be illegally sold. And trafficking continues to develop. Consequently, the mass hunting of these shy animals results in the decline of their population. So, in 2016, the international trade of pangolins was prohibited.

To meet the demand, trafficking is taking place on a global scale via criminal networks. For example, pangolins are being hunted by traffickers in Central Africa. They then transit through Germany, Belgium or Turkey before being sold in Europe or Asia. As a result, all 8 species of pangolins are considered endangered.

Between 2016 and 2019, over 200 tons of illegal scales were seized around the world.
According to several NGOs, this would represent only a small fraction of the total traffic. While the average weight of a shipment of scales was at 2.2 tons in 2016, it rose to 6.2 tons in 2019.