Pangolins, interestingly, are the only mammal in the world that have scales. They traditionally live in flatland forests and wetter climates. They are also the most trafficked mammal in the world.

Previously, it was believed that the scales of the Pangolin contained medicinal properties, specifically, that they increase the amount of breastmilk in new mothers. The scales, as well as the meat, of the Pangolin, are very highly valued.

Due to numbers of the Pangolin dramatically decreasing in recent years, Chinese officials have since revised health recommendations to remove any references to the supposed medicinal properties of the Pangolin.

According to EcoWatch:

Three of the four species [of the Pangolin] native to Asia are considered critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature red list, according to The Guardian.

The delisting of the pangolin from the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) pharmacopoeia comes a week after the State Forestry and Grassland Administration (SFGA) raised their protection status. They are now at Class 1, the highest conservation level also enjoyed by pandas, National Geographic pointed out. It means almost all domestic trade and use of the animals is now prohibited.”

To read more about this issue, visit the article on EcoWatch here.

Author

  • Adam Houser coordinates student leaders for CFACT's collegians program and writes on issues of climate and energy.