It has the smallest range of all pangolin species. The pangolins’ decline comes from both the widespread loss of their forest habitat and increased targeting by poachers, following the decline in Asian pangolin numbers, the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) Pangolin Specialist Group noted in the species’ assessments. “It is extremely disheartening but unsurprising that three additional pangolin species are now formally classified as endangered and critically endangered,” Audrey Delsink, Africa wildlife director of Humane Society International, said in a statement. To date, more than 112,000 species have been assessed on the Red List, of which 30,000 are threatened with extinction, meaning they are categorised as Vulnerable, Endangered or Critically Endangered and accordingly face a high, very high, or extremely high risk of extinction in the wild. Antarctic ice melt related to tropical weather shifts: Study, Forest degradation outpaces deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon: Study, Could disruptions in meat supply relieve pressure on the Amazon? Between 2000 and 2019, for instance, at least 850,000 pangolins were trafficked internationally, a recent study found. Despite a commercial trade ban for wild-caught pangolins in Asia, the illegal trade is thriving. Although not good news, we hope that the recent changes to the Red List for pangolins will serve to catalyse even further action to mitigate the threats pangolins face and secure their long-term future. Their scales act as armour against natural predators but offer no defence against poachers. Evidence for ways to conserve bats (commentary), Audio: The sounds of a rare New Zealand bird reintroduced to its native habitat, Sumatran bridge project in elephant habitat may exacerbate degradation, Paper giant APP’s Sumatran road project cuts through elephant habitat, Study revealing New Guinea’s plant life ‘first step’ toward protection. The Chinese and Sunda pangolins remain Critically Endangered, the Indian pangolin remains Endangered, and the Black-bellied and Temminck’s pangolins remain Vulnerable. PANGOLIN BIOLOGY 3. POPULATION BIOLOGY 4. The illegal trade in pangolin species has reached an epic scale, with the Chinese and Sunda pangolins now classified as Critically Endangered. “All eight pangolin species are now listed as threatened with extinction, largely because they are being illegally traded to China and Viet Nam,” says Professor Jonathan Baillie, Co-Chair of the IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group and Conservation Programmes Director at ZSL. The IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM (hereafter ‘Red List’) is the planet’s most comprehensive information source on the global status of animal, plant and fungus species. Changes for non-genuine reasons happen when new information is available (e.g., on population sizes, exploitation rates) which may indicate that the level of threat is more severe than previously thought, or for other reasons, including that underlying threats are better understood, or because there have been changes in taxonomy. Dan 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. About Pangolins. Changes in the status of species for genuine reasons occur where the main threats have continued or increased and/or new threats have emerged, or where the main threats are no longer apparent and/or conservation measures (e.g., harvest management, reintroduction) have led to improvements in the status of species. The Philippine pangolin (Manis culionensis) is found only in the Philippines, being endemic to Palawan Island and surrounding islands. Of the eight known species of the pangolin, one of the world’s most trafficked mammals, two African species, the while-bellied (Phataginus tricuspis) and the giant ground pangolin (Smutsia gigantea), have been moved from “vulnerable” to “endangered” on the IUCN Red List. Smutsia gigantea. The animals are nocturnal and difficult to survey, and there isn’t a whole lot of quantitative information about their population status in the wild. The pangolin’s future looks gloomy, according to the latest update by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which assesses the conservation status of species. Podcast: Can the planet support a clean energy transition? Yet, widespread trafficking of their body parts continues. In 2016, countries voted to list all eight species of pangolin on CITES Appendix I, banning commercial trade in the animals. Pangolin scales, largely made of keratin just like human fingernails, are sought after in Asian markets, mainly China and Vietnam, where people erroneously believe the scales have medicinal properties, such as promoting menstruation and lactation and in treating rheumatism and arthritis. Manis culionensis. These assessments were informed by greater knowledge of the threat from overexploitation, including its inferred impact on populations, and habitat loss. Where updates occur, species may move into a different Red List category, for genuine or non-genuine reasons. World Pangolin Day celebrations highlight pangolin conservation in a critical year and decade for biodiversity, Statement from Pangolin Specialist Group Chair on possible link between pangolins and coronavirus, Reflecting on 2019 and looking ahead to 2020, IUCN Red List update highlights need for concerted conservation action for pangolins, Snapped! Philippine pangolin: From Endangered to Critically Endangered. More detailed information on these changes is presented below. Like many other species, pangolins have been included on the Red List for several years, at least since the Global Mammal Assessment in 1996. Head and body : 60-70 cm. The listing of the species as Endangered is based on a decline in area of occupancy and habitat quality over a period of three generations (45 years) and on inferred past and future population declines due to exploitation for local use of its meat and scales, and international trafficking of scales to Asia. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T12762A123584478. In 2013, the Pangolin Specialist Group re-assessed all pangolins for the Red List, which resulted in the Chinese and Sunda pangolins being listed as Critically Endangered, the Philippine and Indian pangolins as Endangered, and the four African species as Vulnerable. The largest species of pangolin, with adults weighing more than 30kg, and possibly up to 40kg, is found in Central and West Africa and is thought to be uncommon and generally rare across its range. In traditional Chinese medicine, pangolin scales are also believed to treat a wide variety of conditions including psoriasis and poor circulation. The shy mammals are also hunted for bushmeat in Africa, although in China, pangolin meat is consumed both as a luxury food item and for its purported curative properties. Weight. The 2019 assessments resulted in changes to the Red List categories for three species for non-genuine reasons, taking a precautionary approach. For example, informing what action is required and where, as well as providing information on research needs to further inform conservation activities. Population. “Pangolins continue to get hammered by poaching and trade, and extinction is on the horizon for these adorably odd creatures,” Sarah Uhlemann, international program director at the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement. A vital first step is for the Chinese and Vietnamese governments to conduct an inventory of their pangolin scale stocks and make this publically available to prove that wild-caught pangolins are no longer supplying the commercial trade.”, The new action plan ‘Scaling up Pangolin Conservation’ focuses on protecting pangolin strongholds in Asia and Africa, helping local communities move away from poaching, the strengthening of legislation, and most importantly, understanding and reducing consumer demand.For more information please contact: Our EIN or tax ID is 45-3714703. Written by the IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group team: The news feed on the PangolinSG website is automatically generated and the inclusion of articles, news or other links herein is not an endorsement of material contained within such links. Nixon, S., Pietersen, D., Challender, D., Hoffmann, M., Godwill Ichu, I., Bruce, T., Ingram, D.J., Matthews, N. & Shirley, M.H. Phataginus tricuspis. The enigmatic pangolin, or scaly anteater, is literally being eaten out of existence according to the latest update of The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™, which shows that all eight species are now threatened with extinction. Downloaded on 18 December 2019. hbspt.cta.load(5981609, 'ffe07749-0055-4a95-85b3-bce123fc330c', {}); Mongabay is a reader-supported conservation and environmental science news service. White-bellied pangolin: From Vulnerable to Endangered. 2019. Consumers are willing to pay increasingly high prices for their meat, which is being plated up at banquets across the East as a luxury food.