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.