Pangolins are possibly the world's most illegally trafficked wild mammals, with over a million estimated to have been traded in the past decade. With your support, WTI seeks to initiate a series of targeted interventions to break the back of illegal pangolin trafficking in India. These include strengthening the capacity of enforcement agencies through training, creating awareness about the ecological importance of pangolins, and debunking myths about the curative properties of their body parts.
Pangolin meat is considered a delicacy and their scales and blood are used in traditional medicines because they are mistakenly believed to cure various ailments. All eight species of this fascinating creature are now illegally trafficked and of the two species found in India, the Indian Pangolin is considered 'Endangered' and the Chinese Pangolin 'Critically Endangered'. The problem is multiplied due to a lack of awareness, even among enforcement agencies, about the need to protect pangolins.
WTI plans to target specific Indian states on the basis of intelligence about pangolin hunting sites. The projects will focus on educating locals about pangolins, while debunking the purported medicinal value of their body parts. They will also strengthen the capacity of local enforcement agencies through training events at critical trade conduits. Support will be built for pangolin conservation by engaging key stakeholders from forest departments, police, district administrations, customs etc.
Pangolins face a very real danger of being hunted into extinction at present. Only a holistic approach involving simultaneous enforcement and awareness creation interventions can hope to effectively tackle the illegal trafficking of pangolins and their body parts. By taking such an approach WTI hopes to significantly interrupt the wildlife trade chain - at least to an extent that allows India's pangolin populations some breathing space, enabling them to recover.