Pangolins are being "eaten to extinction" at banquets in
Demand for the scaly anteater's meat is matched by demand for their scales for use in Chinese medicine.
In an update to the authoritative red list of endangered animals, all eight species of the anteater were upgraded to threatened status by the
The pangolin, resembling a pine cone on legs, is the world's only scaly mammal. It uses the scales as armour and uses its long, sticky tongue to catch prey.
According to experts at the Zoological Society of
More than a million are believed to have been illegally caught over the past decade.
More than pounds 4m needs to be spent to tackle the problem, according to the pangolin specialist group at the IUCN, which today publishes a pangolin action plan.
Cutting demand is judged the single most important aim, and the plan proposes a pounds 1m campaign to raise awareness of the threat and pounds 2m for a strategy to cut demand in
The Chinese pangolin and Sunda pangolin are now critically endangered, the worst listing before extinction, with the Indian and Philippine pangolins upgraded to endangered. The four African species are all upgraded to vulnerable.
A pangolin rescued from a smuggler's boat is set free in the wild in
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