Pangolin population decline linked to hunting, killing, and trade

photo 2024 05 07 16 27 39 2
A pangolin found in Myanmar being shown.

The population of pangolins, abundant previously in Myanmar, has declined due to hunting, killing and selling of their meat, said an official from NSCI Group Native Species Conservation and Identification in Myanmar.
Some eat pangolin meat after hunting and killing it, and they are also exported to foreign countries.

photo 2024 05 07 16 27 39
A pangolin found in Myanmar being shown.

“Since there are illicit trade routes, pangolins are traded in illegal markets. Some keep them as pets. Some kill them and sell their meat. There were many pangolins in lower Myanmar. But they became rare because they were being traded. Most pangolins give birth to a single offspring. As people are found selling both mother and baby pangolins, their reproduction stops, and the offspring also dies, so there is no increase in their numbers. So, pangolins are classified as endangered species by the IUCN. Their number has even decreased due to capturing and killing in Myanmar,” he said.
There are Chinese pangolins and Malayan pangolins in Myanmar. Chinese pangolins can be found mainly in upper Myanmar, China and Laos, and sometimes in lower Myanmar. Malayan pangolins can be found primarily in lower Myanmar, Malaysia and Thailand, he said.

photo 2024 05 07 16 27 40
A pangolin found in Myanmar being shown.

Pangolin is a scaly mammal. The scales that cover its body are in close contact with each other, forming an armour to protect it from different dangers. It is classified as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). With a dwindling population, it is in urgent need of protection. Recently, Ko Kyaw Thura from Save The Trees, a member of NSCI Group Native Species Conservation and Identification in Myanmar (NSCI), reportedly bought back a pangolin from a person who was going to kill and release it. — MT/ZN/ED

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