Hi, we are The Pangolin Reports, consisting of over 30 journalists and editors from Asia, Africa and Europe. In the last year, we went undercover to speak with wildlife smugglers, trailed cargo ships suspected of trafficking pangolins across the ocean, and combed through hundreds of pages of data. Ask us anything!

We just published a global report, "Trafficked to Extinction": http://globalstory.pangolinreports.com

Today, you're chatting with managing editor Patrick Boehler, investigative journalists Xu Jiaming, Karen Zhang, Tommy Apriando of Tempo Indonesia & Mongabay, and Sonia Awale of The Nepali Times.

Tweet us at: @pangolinreports We're on Facebook too: https://www.facebook.com/thepangolinreports/

EDIT Thanks for all the qs so far! It's midnight for most of us so we'll be back in the morning to take on more questions :) Thank you!

Comments: 32 • Responses: 8  • Date: 

macsta25 karma

You have my profound admiration and gratitude. What do we need to do? That is, what do we the human race need to do, and what do I as a concerned observer need to do?

p-boehler17 karma

Thank you so much for your kind words!!

We thought about this a lot... it turns out helping is really hard because they come from remote areas and end up in an illegal market. Seizures are only incidental.

It starts with awarness and talking about the issue. Spread the word. Then, if you're travelling in a country that is affected by illegal trade and see something, say something. Report illegal activity. Of course don't consume anything that contains pangolin parts.

Here's a list of NGOs that work on the issue: https://www.pangolinreports.com/pangolins-how-to-help/ (links by country) Patrick

Chtorrr3 karma

What would you mist like to tell us that no one ever asks about?

p-boehler3 karma

Hi! Great question! How these tons of pangolin scales get past customs checks is a good question. and what the massive scale of the smuggling say about criminal syndicates. just think about what else can be shipped undetected by the same people. Patrick

dannylove113 karma

Why is the trade so 'underground", why can't these be farmed?

Out of deforestation or illegal trade, which is the larger problem?

p-boehler3 karma

Thank you for the questions! Why underground: international trade in pangolins is banned by an international treaty. https://www.cites.org/eng/disc/what.php Patrick

p-boehler8 karma

Why can't they be farmed: people have tried, and are trying. But it's really hard!

Copying this from a study: According to literature, over the past 150 years, more than 100 zoos or organizations have attempted to maintain pangolins. Most captive pangolins died within six months, although some were held for two to three years, a few cases lived for 12–19 years. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4490220/

We spent some time with pangolins at a zoon in China. Most of them died within weeks of captivity. It was really sad to see. Patrick

p-boehler3 karma

I'm not sure on the deforestation and illegal trade problem, but tend to think that deforestation is the bigger problem and the illegal trade is an aspect of it. Pangolins are really hard to find and capture in their natural habitat. Patrick

gabe19442 karma

Are they sold for the skin, pets, meat or what?

p-boehler5 karma

Thank you for your question! Mostly skin and meat! Their skin is composed of scales that are used in Traditional Chinese Medicine but have NO medicinal value. Meat supposedly isn't that great to eat, it's more of a status symbol because trade is illegal and they're hard to get. Patrick

glossyplywood1 karma

Pangolins have always been my favorite animal, they’re like dragon armadillos. What is they’re temperament like? Are they gentle creatures? How fast can they move? Thank you for you guys do, you’re heroes!

p-boehler1 karma

Hi! Thank you for your question! Absolutely! They are very kind and sensitive animals and not the fastest. If you have time read this Q&A with Jiaming in which he talks about his experience watching them up close in China: https://pangolins.substack.com/p/chapter-1-china Patrick

M_Nerd1 karma

Thank you for the work that you all do! My question is - the pangolin isn't a typically considered "cute" animal - does it seem like that effects people and their wish to participate in helping?

p-boehler2 karma

Thank you! I'd disagree, I find them really cute!! :)
Patrick