Originally published on August 4, 2014, at ForceChange.com
Target: Xi Jinping, President of China, and Truong Tan Sang, President of Vietnam
Goal: End the illegal poaching of critically endangered pangolins for their scales and meat
Poachers continue to illegally hunt pangolins even though they have been listed as a critically endangered species. As the world’s only mammal with scales, the pangolin’s meat and scales can be found on the black market. In Vietnam and China, pangolin meat is sold as an expensive delicacy in restaurants and as an ingredient in Asian medicine.
Placed on the International Union of Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species, pangolins could face extinction if this rampant poaching continues. As pangolin populations steadily decrease throughout Southeast Asia, illegal poaching has spread to Africa to meet China and Vietnam’s demand for the rare animal.
Over a million pangolins have been traded illegally in the last ten years. The armored insect-eater has become the most heavily trafficked wild mammal in the world. Without a chance to repopulate, this endangered creature is on the brink of extinction.
As a status symbol, wealthy men in China and Vietnam will go to a restaurant and order pangolin meat because it is the most expensive item on the menu. Pangolin scales are often sold for their claimed medicinal effects. Unless we take steps to protect this critically endangered species, we could wipe them out of existence.
By signing the petition below you will help urge the President of China, Xi Jinping, and the President of Vietnam, Truong Tan Sang, to stop the poaching and purchasing of the endangered pangolin.
Dear President Xi Jinping and President Truong Tan Sang,
The illegal poaching of critically endangered pangolins cannot continue to exist. Pangolins are running the risk of extinction because people in your countries demand to eat them or use them as medicinal ingredients. End the poaching of pangolins before we wipe them out of existence.
Endangered pangolins require protection from poachers while given a chance to repopulate their dwindling numbers. Awareness campaigns in your countries would inform people about the negative aspects of eating endangered species. By providing protected habitats and conservations, you will give the pangolin a chance to survive.
Do not allow the greed of poachers to condemn an entire species to death. Do not become responsible for the extinction of the pangolin because the people in your country ate the remaining survivors. Enforce laws to protect the critically endangered pangolin and raise awareness in your countries to keep our scaly friend off the menu.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Valerius Tygart via Wikimedia Commons