Home News Pangolins DSWF signs on to letter to protect pangolins

DSWF signs on to letter to protect pangolins

The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation ( DSWF ) is one of 53 organizations who have signed a letter urging the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre ( UWEC ) and Uganda Wildlife Authority to reconsider recent proposals on experimental research on captive breeding of pangolins in Uganda.

The letter (attached) sent by the IUCN SSC pangolin specialist group, African Pangolin Working Group, draws attention to the difficulty of keeping pangolins in captivity saying that most confiscated pangolins from illegal trades do not accept the artificial diet, therefore many captive facilities have to release those pangolins immediately back into the wild or provide natural ants.

It further states that breeding pangolins for commercial purposes can also bring negative impact to pangolin conservation as this can result in an increase demand or hunting pressure to provide the supply for farms, it is extremely difficult for law enforcement to distinguish wild pangolins from farmed pangolins and there is a potential for disease to spread from reintroduction programs.

The signatories believe that conservation breeding programs are a low priority for pangolin species and that farming pangolins for commercial purposes is not a solution for conservation and urge the UWEC  to decline the  proposal from the Chinese company.

The pangolin trade has reached epidemic proportions. With over one million pangolins believed to have been traded illegally in the last decade pangolins are the most heavily trafficked wild mammal in the world. Based on reported global seizures between 2011 and 2013, an estimated 116,990-233,980 pangolins were killed. As demand grows the pangolin is becoming the subject of an increasing illegal trade in Zambia.

As well as signing up to the letter,  DSWF is funding a new Pangolin ProtectionProgramme to help address the issue in Zambia before it becomes a major threat to the species. Our aim is to reduce the threat, the illegal trade and local consumption of pangolin through:

  • Rescue and rehabilitation
  • Education and awareness
  • Law enforcement

You can find out more about the project in Zambia by clicking here

Photo: GRI

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