Pangolins in Zambia

The pangolin is the most heavily trafficked wild mammal in the world. To address the issue in Zambia DSWF is funding a Pangolin Protection Programme to ensure the survival of the species in the country.

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.

How we are helping to protect the pangolin

DSWF is funding a new Pangolin Protection Programme 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

More about pangolins: There are eight extant species of pangolins, which are also known as scaly anteaters, they are secretive and nocturnal and characteristically roll up into a ball when threatened.

The main threats to pangolins in Asia are poaching and illegal hunting driven largely by an illicit international trade in the animals for their meat and scales, commonly destined for China and Vietnam. Here, the meat is consumed as a luxury dish in expensive restaurants and the scales are used in medicines believed to cure a range of medical problems – including helping lactating mothers to secrete milk, to cure skin diseases and to improve blood circulation. In Africa the mammals are sought after for bush meat or for their scales to be used in a wide variety of ethno-medicinal and spiritual uses, as well as a developing inter-continental trade in African pangolin parts, mainly scales, to Asian markets.

Click here to find out about our elephant conservation work in Zambia


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Did you know?

Pangolins are the most illegally trafficked mammal on earth