Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Pangolins are burrowing mammals that look like scaly anteaters, and they’re being illegally traded at a “shocking” scale, according to a recent report.
There are eight different species of pangolin, and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species forbids all trade in the four Asian species and limits trade of the four African ones.
However, these protections have done little to halt poaching of the animals whose meat is considered a delicacy in Asia and whose scales are used in traditional Chinese medicine.
No one knows exactly how many pangolins are sold each year, but it probably numbers in the tens of thousands, according to wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC.
Chinese officials recently worked with University of Oxford researchers to examine the scope of the trade, and the team uncovered records that 2.59 tons of scales — representing almost 5,000 pangolins — have been seized since…
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