Speaking about the up-listing of African species to Appendix I of CITES, Rebecca Drury, Senior Technical Specialist for Wildlife Trade at Fauna & Flora International (FFI) said, “This is a hugely positive step for pangolins, but all parties must now take action to enforce the trade ban. This will require strengthening law enforcement efforts and greater investment in reducing demand for pangolin products in consumer countries.”
For its part, FFI is building on its work addressing trade in Sumatran tigers in Kerinci Seblat National Park to also strengthen law enforcement for Sunda pangolins and helmeted hornbills. Trade in Sunda pangolins in particular is very closely linked to the trade in Sumatran tigers, with the same traders often involved.
Supported by a new grant recently secured from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, this work provides an opportunity for FFI to identify and put a stop to illegal wildlife trade syndicates and the ‘kingpin’ traders fuelling wildlife crime. Alongside Sumatran tigers, pangolins and hornbills, a whole host of other species also facing severe pressure from trader-driven poaching will benefit from this work.
This project forms part of a major FFI initiative to tackle illegal wildlife trade, which the organisation recognises as one of today’s most pressing threats to biodiversity.
Globally, FFI’s efforts are concentrated on protecting vulnerable species in their home ranges, building the capacity of young conservation leaders and developing innovative technologies and finance mechanisms to tackle the problem.