Poaching Pushes Sunda Pangolins to Higher Risk of Extinction
According to the wildlife department in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, poachers often hunt Sunda pangolins for meat and their scales
Do you know that the Sunda pangolin is the world’s most poached and trafficked mammal? It is due to its high demand for meat and scales. Recently, in Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Malaysia’s Sabah state, the wildlife department fears that the Sunda pangolins will soon become extinct in Sabah due to poaching.
According to Augustine Tuuga, State Wildlife Department director, Sabah is the main focus of smugglers and poachers of pangolins. Pangolins are beautiful wild animals but due to smuggling and poaching, the population of this species is shrinking in the state. However, the wildlife department director has not given any accurate data on the mammals’ exact numbers.
According to Augustine, there have been around five cases of arrest for illegal pangolin hunting since 2019. While the statistics don’t show the exact scenario, research shows that only 30 percent of poachers get caught. The authorities say that poachers often hunt Sunda pangolins because they are a good source of protein and some people also use their scales to make traditional medicine.
Recently, Region 4 marine police commanding officer Deputy Supt Ridzauddin Selamat mentioned that his men found a box at a pedestrian walkway. In the box, they found a pangolin but no one has claimed the animal so far. So, now they will hand it over to the Sabah Wildlife Department.
According to Augustine, there’s a ban on poaching in the region. And, anyone found guilty of buying or selling pangolins may be fined somewhere between RM50,000 and RM250,000 along with five years of jail. However, still, there have been many cases of poaching in the state.
He has also urged people to contact the department immediately to report any poaching activity around them. With the initiatives of the state’s wildlife department, the locals are also becoming a little aware and trying to stop poaching. Sadly, the species is nearing extinction due to criminal activities.
Via: The Star