Saturday was the 10th annual World Pangolin Day and we wanted to recognize it by bringing attention to this adorable species.
World Pangolin Day is celebrated every year on the third Saturday of February and it’s an opportunity for animal lovers to join together and raise awareness for this struggling mammal.
Unfortunately, pangolins are the most heavily trafficked mammals in the world and have become victims of the powerful illegal wildlife trade.
Pangolins are sometimes mistaken as reptiles … But they’re actually mammals. Many call them scaly anteaters because they’re covered in hard, plate-like scales. The scales are used to protect them from predators in the wild. Whenever a pangolin feels threatened, it will immediately curl into a tight ball and use its sharp tail to defend itself.
Pangolins feed almost exclusively on ants, larvae, and termites. They have no teeth and they pick food up with their sticky tongues, which can be as long as the animal’s body. Pangolins are mainly nocturnal and the name “pangolin” translates to “something that rolls up.”
Sadly, pangolin numbers are rapidly declining. The trafficked mammals are in high demand in countries like China and Vietnam where their meat is considered a delicacy and their scales are used for medicinal purposes.
In 2016, over 180 governments announced an agreement that would end all legal trade of pangolins to protect the species from extinction. Illegal trade of the species has continued, though.
At Karmagawa and SaveTheReef, we want to do all we can to educate our audience about the pangolin’s struggles. The more people that know about the damage that is being done, the better chance pangolins have at surviving.
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What do you think about pangolins being the most trafficked mammal in the world? Leave a comment below.