Last July, IFAW co-authored and submitted a technical petition to list a little known, but amazingly unique, animal as “Endangered” under the US Endangered Species Act (ESA): the pangolin. Pangolins are small, scale-covered, ant-eating mammals that live in several areas of Africa and Asia. But while pangolins are fascinating and play an important role in their ecosystems as insect regulators, they are one of the most imperiled species on the planet.
Luckily, pangolins received some good news from the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) last month. Our petition received an official, positive “90-day finding.” This finding is just the first hurdle in the long ESA listing process, but it means that the US government will conduct an investigation, based on our petition, to find out if pangolins will receive “Endangered” status.
And there is no time to waste. Pangolins are the most illegally trafficked mammal in the world. Over 1 million pangolins are estimated to have been poached in the last decade in order to satisfy demand for their meat and scales. The rate at which they are being killed is completely unsustainable and cruel, and may lead to extinction if nothing is done. The U.S. can take a step in stopping the trade of pangolins through an “Endangered” designation. According to government data, thousands of pangolin products are imported into the U.S. every year.
FWS is now asking for comments from the public to help them make that decision. You can help by signing our petition showing support for listing all seven unlisted pangolin species under the ESA (there is only one species that is currently protected). All you need to do is fill out the form here, and will submit this letter with your signature. Make your voice heard today!
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