Hope for Pangolin Protection in China - But these measures alone will not stop the illegal pangolin trade if demand persists, WWF warns - | WWF
Hope for Pangolin Protection in China - But these measures alone will not stop the illegal pangolin trade if demand persists, WWF warns -

Posted on 11 June 2020

WWF, which has been advocating for strengthening pangolin protection measures for several years, hopes the new announcements could not only lead to the rescue, habitat restoration, population protection and research on pangolin natural history, but also have the potential to reduce demand and consumption of threatened and endangered species.

June 11, 2020, Beijing: At a time when the global COVID-19 pandemic has brought the risks of consumption and usage of wildlife into sharp focus, this week has seen some good developments. The Chinese government’s announcement on the upgrading of pangolins from the national level II for protected wildlife, to the national level I -  the highest possible protection status - puts pangolins’ protection status alongside that of pandas and tigers. Coupled with the steps towards full removal of pangolin scales from the Chinese pharmacopoeia, this marks a step forward to save one of the world's most heavily trafficked wild mammals.

The recent measure taken by Chinese authorities to protect all pangolin species sends a powerful message on China’s crackdown on pangolin poaching, and helps to raise public awareness around illegal wildlife trade.
WWF, which has been advocating for strengthening pangolin protection measures for several years, hopes the new announcements could not only lead to the rescue, habitat restoration, population protection and research on pangolin natural history, but also have the potential to reduce demand and consumption of threatened and endangered species. 

Since January 2020, WWF-China has issued three statements calling for upgrading of the protection level for pangolins, and an end to the use of pangolin scales as medicine.  “The measures are significant since they help to promote a future where people and nature can thrive” said Zhou Fei, Chief Programme Officer of WWF China. “However, while upgrading the pangolin protection level and seeking to end medicinal use of pangolin scales could be a massive turning point for the conservation of the species, these measures alone will not stop the illegal pangolin trade if demand persists. WWF will continue to raise public awareness and try to influence consumer behaviour to reduce market demand.” Zhou Fei added.


For more information, please contact: news@wwfint.org

Notes to the Editor
In 2018, WWF launched a survey on the illegal trade of pangolin products in 33 urban physical markets and online platforms. Compared with the previous years, the proportion of vendors selling pangolin products in the physical market declined, but up to one third of the wholesale stores in several cities continue to sell pangolin scales. According to an analysis of the advertisement of pangolin products on the internet; Guangxi and Guangdong provinces in South China are the main sources of products, most of which are sold as processed or raw scales. 

WWF-China presented its recommendations on pangolin protection to relevant government departments in China in February 2020 and to the committee of the National People’s Congress working on the revision of Wildlife Protection Law, in May 2020.
pangolin is considered the most trafficked animal in the world
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