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Sudden crisis for African pangolins

All signs show that the numbers of these humble creatures are plummeting. They are in critical danger of going extinct.

Please help save these creatures from pangolin trafficking by giving anything you can. 

Traffickers are shifting their poaching operations from Asian pangolins to their African counterparts, and all signs suggest African pangolin numbers are falling off a cliff

Fauna & Flora has a plan to save them.

Just £30 could help buy the patrol gear needed to get a pangolin ranger into the field, enabling pangolins to be protected.

And that is why we are asking for your donation today. Your gift could help Fauna & Flora stop poachers in their tracks, and prevent pangolins from being killed en-masse.

But we need to mobilise at maximum capacity – immediately – or their chances of survival will be slim.

The critical items we need to buy:

A donation of £95
could help pay for a GPS kit, allowing ranger leads to coordinate their patrols to the most vulnerable areas
A donation of £68
could pay for a hammock, rucksack and camping gear for one ranger, allowing them to sleep safely in dense forest
A donation of £30
could help pay for patrol boots, protective clothing and a rucksack to equip a new ranger
A donation of £10
could help pay for one weeks rations and subsistence to keep a ranger on the move

What are pangolins?

They are among the gentlest mammals in the animal kingdom. Shy and generally submissive, they avoid confrontation at all costs.

Pangolins are covered from head to tail in scales. Their main defence against threats is to roll into a ball and wait until the danger goes away – and this simple method of survival has helped keep them safe for over 80 million years.

But against poachers, it’s useless. When they approach, a pangolin will roll up in defence, only to be easily scooped up and thrown into a bag with others.

Millions upon millions of pangolins have been taken from the wild. Confused and terrified, they are hauled away from their homes, and held captive, often in cramped and cruel conditions.

Once sold, they are slaughtered to satiate the demand for their scales.

They are even sometimes boiled or descaled alive.

And it’s all for nothing.

A pangolin rolled up which was a victim of the illegal wildlife trade after it was rescued by rangers, eastern Liberia.

What are pangolin scales used for?

Their scales are used in traditional medicines – medicines which have no scientific backing.

It’s a tragedy. And it could not be happening to a more wonderful little mammal.

Until recently, the majority of pangolin poaching has been focused on Asia’s pangolins.

But now, those pangolins are so rare that they are difficult and expensive for traffickers to get their hands on.

So, they are now refocusing their extractive efforts on African pangolins.

The situation is critical

The remarkable people protecting pangolins across the African continent are now at real risk of being overwhelmed. We have a narrow window of opportunity to help them – without action, pangolins will disappear forever.

To be the difference, we need to shift substantial quantities of supplies, equipment and training resources to get more protection into the field ASAP. This includes preparing protection teams to meet this escalation head on.

If we don’t respond, the outcome will be catastrophic. Millions of these animals will be taken from the wild, slaughtered and shipped across the world.

How can pangolins be saved?

We have put together a plan to stamp out this crisis.

We need to get more rangers into the field, across the continent.

Acting quickly is critical. Poachers move fast. We must move faster.

We don’t know how many pangolins are alive. If too many of them are lost, entire populations will die out. They will unravel and disappear, like the end of a piece of string.

We are completely reliant on your generosity to stop that from happening.

What our teams need:

These are some of the items that will be critical in ramping up the level of protection for pangolins across Africa:

  • Rations and subsistence for rangers to implement patrols, which £10 could help buy for one week.
  • Patrol boots, machetes and rucksacks to equip new rangers that can stop poaching at its source, which £30 could help buy.
  • Cameras placed in trees across known pangolin hotspots, which £30 could also help buy.
  • Resources to get protection experts to the field to train teams to identify signs of pangolins and the signs they are being poached, which £68 could provide.

Together, let’s save these creatures.

By giving today, we can stop the traffickers from decimating pangolins populations – the more we receive, the more pangolins we can save.

Thank you for whatever you give.

Who is Fauna & Flora?

Fauna & Flora is the world’s oldest conservation charity. Over the last 100 years, we have literally saved species from extinction and even – with the help of our vice-president, Sir David Attenborough – helped bring mountain gorillas back from the brink. We work to protect plants and animals around the globe, and spend 94% of our income on charitable activities.

That’s why we’re sure that – with your help – we still have time to save even more species.

Thank you.

If you value the natural world – if you think it should be protected for its own sake as well as humanity’s – then please support Fauna & Flora.
Sir David Attenborough OM FRS Vice-president and FFI member since 1959