SEE: PICS: Pangolin pup death shows horror of this illegal trade
Pangolin scales are used for medicine and food by some people and "has high demand for its unproven aphrodisiac value", adds the report.
In June, a $1.2 million (R16 008m - R13.34/$) illegal shipment of pangolin scales were uncovered in Malaysia that came from Ghana and been transported by Turkish Airlines, while in July, authorities in Ivory Coast seized three tons of pangolin scales worth an estimated $82 000 (in excess of R1m), in what officials called a "massacre".
Security at ports may have tightened in an attempt to curb illegal trade of animals and its parts, but sadly, the situation remains dire for many endangered species around the world.
Get clued up...
Here are a few facts about pangolins you might not have known:
1. Pangolins often called “scaly anteaters”, is the most trafficked mammal on earth
SEE: #ShockWildlifeTruths: The most trafficked mammal on the planet
CITES placed the eight species of pangolin on the convention's "Appendix I," at last year's 17th meeting of the UN's Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) held in Johannesburg. The ban prohibits any cross-border movement in the animals or their body parts for commercial purposes.
SEE: #WorldPangolinDay celebrated as species fight for survival: 8 Facts you need to know
Despite this, they are still victims of illegal trade and habitat loss to accidental death on electric fences.
2. South Africa has its own endemic species
Ground Pangolins (Smutsia temminckii), have been found in Kruger National Park (KNP), Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Mapungubwe National Park and Marakele National Park.
3. Pangolins are Game-of-Thrones tough
Since they are covered in tough, overlapping scales, which assist in protecting them when they are threatened, these little critters are able to quickly roll themselves up into a tight defensive ball.
4. They have an extraordinarily long and sticky tongue
They use when burrowing for their food, which is usually ants and termites.
5. Four-legged yet they only walk on two
The pangolin is also one of the few four-legged animals to walk on two legs, this is due to their large claws.
6. Nocturnal creatures by nature
The Chinese pangolin sleep in underground burrows during the day, whilst the African tree pangolins and Malayan pangolins are known to sleep in trees. They emerge in the evening to forage for insects.
7. Pangolins are well adapted for digging
They dig burrows with their strong front legs and claws, using their tails and rear legs for support and balance. Tunnelling underground, they excavate the sides and roofs of passages by pushing up and from side to side with their tough scaled bodies.
They use their front and hind feet to back accumulated soil toward the burrow entrance, and vigorously kick dirt out of the entrance up to a meter or more.
8. Pangolin DO NOT have healing powers
In some cultures, it is believed that Pangolins possess healing powers and for this reason, they are regularly used in traditional medicine. Pangolins are also considered a delicacy and are in high demand in countries such as China and Vietnam. This is what makes them the most trafficked animal in the world.
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- #WorldPangolinDay celebrated as species fight for survival: 8 Facts you need to know
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- PICS: Pangolin pup death shows horror of this illegal trade