Wednesday 6 January 2016

Myanmar’s illegal pangolin trade booming

The Illegal trade in live pangolins, their meat, and their scales in Myanmar is booming says TRAFFIC published in Global Ecology and Conservation. Their report identifies the Special Development Zone of Mong La as a particular concern.

Surveys of Mong La’s morning market, wildlife trophy shops and wild meat restaurants by the paper’s authors during four visits from 2006 to 2015 found 42 bags of scales, 32 whole skins, 16 foetuses or pangolin parts in wine, and 27 whole pangolins openly for sale, clearly indicating this town is as a significant hub of the pangolin trade. 

The origin of the pangolins offered for sale in Mong La appears to include pangolins sourced from Myanmar itself, as well as from neighbouring countries, and potentially Africa—ivory, rhino horn and hippo teeth from Africa have all been observed in recent years in this market.

Myanmar is an important transit country for the smuggling of pangolins and other wildlife. Mong La is situated in the Shan State of Myanmar on the border with China, and caters exclusively for the Chinese market, where demand for pangolins is high.

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