Target: Daniel M. Ashe, Director of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Goal: Grant endangered species protections to all species of pangolins, the world’s most trafficked mammal.
Tens of thousands of pangolins are believed to be poached annually. No one knows for sure how many pangolins are left in the wild, but given that they are killed and trafficked in such large numbers, their fate is grim. Pangolin meat is a delicacy in Asia, and pangolin scales are thought to have curative powers, even though the scales are only made of keratin—the same substance human fingernails are made of.
Though Asia is the biggest market for pangolin, the United States also sees tens of thousands of pangolin products being brought into the country each year. The pangolin trade is restricted by an international treaty, but the current restrictions are insufficient. It is still possible for traders to legally bring some pangolin products into the United States, and there is rampant smuggling of illegal products.
The United States only grants protection to one out of the eight pangolin species under the Endangered Species Act. If the United States granted ESA protection to all eight species, all U.S. import and interstate trade of all pangolins and pangolin parts would be illegal. This protection could potentially end the pangolin trade in the United States permanently.
The United States must do everything it can to save the world’s most trafficked mammal. Sign the petition below to encourage the head of the Fish and Wild Service to protect all eight species of pangolins.
Dear Director Ashe,
As you may already be aware, the pangolin is the world’s most trafficked mammal; tens of thousands of them are poached for their body parts every single year. Because the pangolin is so elusive, it is extremely difficult to know exactly how many are left in the wild, but it is certain that with so many being poached every single year, their future is very bleak.
I strongly urge you, as the head of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to protect all eight species of pangolins under the Endangered Species Act. Currently, only one species is protected, but all eight species of pangolins are being poached and trafficked. It is still possible to legally import some pangolin products to the United States, and according to some estimates, hundreds of thousands of pangolin products are smuggled every year. Protecting all eight species of pangolin under the ESA could permanently end the pangolin trade in the United States.
We may not be able to determine how many pangolins are left, but we know for sure that they are being exploited—being made into useless herbal medicines and handbags. All eight species of pangolin need protection from the United States. Please act now, before it’s too late.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: David Brossard