Strong measures proposed to protect pangolinThe government has decided to seek stronger protection and enforcement measures for two pangolin species—Indian and Chinese—under an international treaty signed to protect endangered plants and animals from illegal trade.
The government has decided to seek stronger protection and enforcement measures for two pangolin species—Indian and Chinese—under an international treaty signed to protect endangered plants and animals from illegal trade.
The Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC) has formally endorsed the
proposal to transfer Chinese pangolin (Manis pentadactyla) and Indian pangolin (Manis crassicaudata) from the existing Appendix II to Appendix I under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) to ensure stronger national and international protection measures, stricter penalties and improve enforcement.
The government will submit the proposal at the 17th meeting of the conference of the parties to CITES scheduled to be held from September 24 to October 5 in South Africa, this year.
“The increasing seizures of scales and meat of pangolin, locally known as Salak, both within and outside the country in the recent years have indicated that these species are under severe threat to illegal international trade and need maximum protection,” said Maheshwar Dhakal, deputy director general at the DNPWC. All eight pangolin species, including the two species native to Nepal, are listed as the ‘most heavily trafficked wild mammal in the
world’, with an estimated one million pangolins taken
from the wild for illegal
international trade in the decade before 2014, primarily
destined to China and Vietnam, according to the International Union for Nature Conservation.
The species listed under the Appendix II are not threatened to extinction, unlike the species listed under Appendix I that need urgent and stronger protection and enforcement measures to save them from extinction in the wild. “The uplifting of Indian and Chinese pangolin species from to Appendix I that represent the most endangered species will help us and other countries to come up with proper interventions at the earliest,” said Dhakal, who is participating in the conference representing the Nepali delegation.
Besides Nepal, countries like India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the United States, Vietnam, the Philippines, Nigeria and Senegal, among others have also submitted the proposals to transfer pangolin species from Appendix II to Appendix I.
According to authorities, there is still no estimate on the total population of the two pangolin species in Nepal, but are found widely distributed in eastern Nepal and some parts of central Nepal. A report in 2015 found seizures in China, Vietnam and Nepal involved an estimated 3,719 individuals of Chinese pangolins in 2015.