Why are pangolin in danger?

Pangolins are small animals found in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. While they might look like simple creatures, they have a unique built-in defensive system to help protect themselves from danger. A pangolin has a very interesting weapon it uses to protect itself against predators – its scales.

Pangolins are sold for food in live-animal “wet markets” in China — facilities that have long been suspected of being ground zero for the spread of viruses originating in animals to people.

The animals are trafficked mainly for their scales, which are believed to treat a variety of health conditions in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), and as a luxury food in Vietnam and China. In Africa, pangolins are sold as a form of bushmeat, for ritual or spiritual purposes, and use in traditional African medicine.

Why are pangolins endangered?

In China, the country’s law protects the animals, and selling Pangolins can lead to 10 years in prison.

What are pangolins and why are they endangered?

Restaurants selling pangolin dishes abound in the Vietnamese cities. The skin is served in such dishes as stir-fried pangolin skin with onion and mushroom. And the fetus is eaten as an aphrodisiac. Pangolin scales are sold in plain view in the street markets., and more items.

“All eight pangolin species are now listed as threatened with extinction, largely because they are being illegally traded to China and Viet Nam,” says Professor Jonathan Baillie, Co-Chair of the IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group and Conservation Programmes Director at ZSL.

One of the next things we wondered was, is the endangered pangolin the ‘missing link’ between bats and humans?

Experts speculate that the endangered pangolin is the intermediary host between bats and humans for the coronavirus.

Could a bat virus infect a pangolin?

Firstly, that this bat virus would unlikely be able to infect pangolins.