Welcome to the IUCN-SSC Pangolin Specialist Group website

We are pleased to present the official website of the  International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission (SSC) Pangolin Specialist Group (PangolinSG).

The PangolinSG is one of over 120 IUCN-SSC specialist groups, Red List Authorities and task forces working towards achieving the SSC’s vision of “a world that values and conserves present levels of biodiversity.” Our group is comprised of a quorum of experts from around the world that leads efforts to study pangolins and the threats they face and devises conservation solutions to ensure the long-term survival of pangolins in both Africa and Asia.

Our website is designed to be a resource for different stakeholders by providing news and information about pangolins, their conservation and on-going research projects, and the activities of the PangolinSG. It also hosts a library of scientific literature and resources and provides details on how you can get involved with the group. Thank you for visiting, and please get in touch anytime!

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News

WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL IN FRANCE HELPS TO SCALE UP PANGOLIN CONSERVATION – DECEMBER 2014

Set on the gateway to the lake Der Chantecoq, the natural stop over for tens of thousands of common cranes on their way to the Iberian Peninsula, sits the little town of Montier-en-Der, France. Over the past 18 years it has grown into a must-attend event for amateur and professional nature photographers along with the general public and nature lovers. This year the four day festival accommodated over 80 exhibitions of which PPNat – Photographers for the Preservation of Nature, created a display putting the spotlight on the pangolin.

The IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group, Tikki Hywood Trust and TRAFFIC Southeast Asia booths at the festival. Copyright: PPNAT.org

“It is during our travels through Namibia, Zimbabwe and Vietnam, that we became aware of the alarming situation of the pangolin. In 2012, after meeting Lisa Hywood and Maria Diekmann, the photographers of PPNat decided to raise awareness about pangolins, and to promote the conservation NGOs helping the pangolin. The AFPAN, organizers of this festival, immediately responded enthusiastically and gave their full support to the ‘Plight of the Pangolin’ project, and help represent pangolin conservation on a global scale.” say Elyane and Cedric Jacquet, co-founders of PPNat

Through PPNat’s invite, the IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group attended alongside other key stakeholders The Tikki Hywood Trust, Save Vietmam’s Wildlife, R.E.S.T. (Rare and Endangered Species Trust) and TRAFFIC Southeast Asia. Click here to read more.

 

‘SCALING UP PANGOLIN CONSERVATION’ ACTION PLAN LAUNCHED AS ALL PANGOLINS NOW THREATENED WITH EXTINCTION – 29th JULY 2014

The IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group presents here its conservation action plan ‘Scaling up pangolin conservation‘, as all eight species of pangolin are now threatened with extinction, which is driven by demand for their meat and scales.

The action plan outlines strategic actions which are considered critical to the conservation of pangolins globally, and which require fronturgent implementation, including reducing demand for pangolins among consumers, the strengthening of site protection at pangolin strongholds, helping communities move away from poaching pangolins, and the strengthening of legislation.

The publication of this action plan follows the first ever global conference on pangolin conservation held by the Pangolin Specialist Group, where the status of all pangolins on the IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species was revised.  As a result of these assessments the Chinese and Sunda pangolins are now categorized as ‘Critically Endangered’, the Indian and Philippine pangolins as ‘Endangered’, and all four African species are now considered ‘Vulnerable’, as a result of past and on-going population declines.

This is the result of on-going illicit hunting and poaching of pangolins which within Asia, and increasingly in Africa, is driven largely by market demand in East Asia, where pangolin meat is consumed as a luxury food, and increasingly affluent consumers are willing to pay high prices for it, and their scales which are used in traditional medicines. This trade takes place despite pangolins being protected species in most countries in which they occur, and despite being listed in CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) Appendix II, to which zero export quotas were established in the year 2000 for wild-caught Asian pangolins traded for commercial purposes, in effect a trade ban.

UntitledDan Challender, Co-Chair of the IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group, says: “Our global strategy to halt the decline of the world’s pangolins needs to be urgently implemented.

“A Vital first step is for the Chinese and Vietnamese governments to conduct an inventory of their pangolin scale stocks and make this publicly available to prove that wild-caught pangolins are no longer supplying the commercial trade.”

Watch the video accompanying the release of our action plan by clicking here.

Read our press release on the launch of our action plan in full here.

 

HUGE HAUL OF AFRICAN PANGOLIN SCALES IN VIETNAM – JULY 2014

On Wednesday 23rd July, Customs Officers at Hai Phong port in Quang Ninh province in Northern Vietnam seized 1.4 tonnes of pangolin scales, which had been trafficked from Sierra Leone.  This likely represents thousands of pangolins, and most likely involves the White-bellied pangolin, Phataginus tricuspis, but potentially other African species as well.  Increasing trade in African pangolin parts, mainly scales, to Asia is an increasing problem and a growing threat to pangolins, following historical declines in populations of Asian pangolins. For more information click here.

PANGOLINS GAIN IN TRACTION IN CITES – UPDATE FROM SC65, JULY 2014

At SC65 pangolins came up on the agenda under enforcement matters, and a suite of interventions followed the introduction of the document and the issue by the Secretariat. Interventions were made by China, Vietnam, Indonesia, the US, Canada, and India, as well as the IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group.  The Pangolin Specialist Group drew attention to the magnitude of the trade since the 11th CoP (2000)…..CLICK HERE to read the full article.