February 1st, 2013 by Rhishja Cota-Larson
Did you know that World Pangolin Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in February? This year, the special day falls on February 16th — so be sure to mark your calendar if you haven’t already done so!
World Pangolin Day is an opportunity for pangolin enthusiasts to join together in raising awareness about these unique mammals — and their plight. Pangolin numbers are rapidly declining, particularly in Southeast Asia. However, pangolin trafficking is also a serious problem in the rest of Asia, as well as Africa.
In 2012, an estimated 60,000 pangolins (based on seizures) were victims of the illegal wildlife trade.
The demand for pangolins comes mostly from China, where pangolin scales are unfortunately believed to be a cure-all of sorts and pangolin flesh is considered a delicacy. In Vietnam, pangolins are frequently offered at restaurants catering to wealthy patrons who want to eat rare and endangered wildlife. There is no evidence to support claims regarding medicinal properties of pangolin scales or any other part of the pangolin.
To learn more about pangolins, check out:
- World Pangolin Day on Facebook
- Tikki Hywood Trust
- IUCN Pangolin Specialist Group
- Carnivore and Pangolin Research Program
- Education for Nature-Vietnam
- TRAFFIC Southeast Asia
- Project Pangolin
Watch an adorable baby Cape pangolin named “Champ” stick out his tongue:
Got questions about World Pangolin Day? Send an email to: info [at] pangolins [dot] org
Keep up to date with all the most interesting green news on the planet by subscribing to our (free) Planetsave newsletter.