TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, has just released the Proceedings of the workshop on trade and conservation of pangolins native to South and Southeast Asia [PDF]. Pangolins are being wiped out across their range in Southeast Asia, particularly in China, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and more recently in Indonesia and Sumatra. According to the report, “pangolins are the most frequently encountered mammals seized from illegal traders in Asia,” despite their status as endangered by the IUCN. Huge shipments have been seized all over Asia as they make their way to China.
Pangolins are toothless, scaly anteaters native to tropical regions in Asia and Africa. Their meat is considered a delicacy in China and is used for a highly sought-after pangolin fetus soup, while their scales are valued for Chinese medicinal purposes. National Geographic has a photo gallery, but be warned: it’s not for the faint of heart.
Vaguely related: Cute pangolin earrings that I wish I had.