London is a key lynchpin in the battle to save the Pangolin. Pangolins are also known as ‘scaly anteaters’ and are one of the more unusual mammals on the planet.
It primarily lives in most parts of Asia and Africa.
However, the species has now been driven to the verge of extinction.
Pangolins are excessively hunted for their skin, meat and scales.
Around 100,000 Pangolins are trafficked a year.
Most Pangolins are illegally trafficked to China and Vietnam where their meat and scales are seen as a delicacy.
Recently at Uganda’s Entebbe International Airport, the wildlife authorities found 2 tons of of Pangolin scales.
Due to the shipment of illegal pangolin they have now been put on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List of animals threatened with extinction.
The Zoological Society of London are campaigning to help stop the illegal trafficking of pangolin.
Professor Jonathan Baillie, Conservation Programmes Director at ZSL, said:
In the 21st Century we really should not be eating species to extinction – there is simply no excuse for allowing this illegal trade to continue.
Professor Bailie is also the Chancellor of IUCN/SSC Pangolin Specialist Group.
London Zoo helps to release live pangolins which have been seized from poachers back into the wild.
Although London Zoo does not house any pangolins, they are forever working on new ways to help pangolins.
Prince William also stated recently that ‘The pangolin runs the risk of becoming extinct before most people have even heard of them.’
Pangolins very rarely survive in captivity; only six zoos in the world have them.
This is one of the reasons why many in the west have not heard of this species before.
With World Pangolin Day just 14 days away, people are doing more to raise awareness of these unique species.
Current projects by IUCN/SSC Pangolin Specialist Group and the ZSL are underway to help save this endangered species.
This is just one of many of their proposed awareness plans for 2015.
To learn more about IUCN.SSC there are Pangolin action plans you can access by clicking here.
To learn more about what ZSL London Zoo and their conversation initiatives you can click here.