You may have never heard of a pangolin, but many poachers in Africa and Asia have. Pangolins are the most trafficked mammal in the world.
Today, at the CITES Conference of the Parties in South Africa (CoP17), all eight pangolin species were given the highest protection status possible, which includes a ban on trade. It's recognition from the global community that all are in danger of going extinct.
"This decision will help give pangolins a fighting chance," said Susan Lieberman, WCS Vice President of International Policy and head of the WCS delegation to the CoP17.
There are four pangolin species found in Africa and four in Asia. All are hunted.
In some cultures, they are considered a delicacy on the dinner table. Also, like with rhino horn, some people believe a pangolin's scales provide health benefits (they don't). These beliefs have led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of animals in recent years alone.
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