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Pangolins and the EDGE project

One of Paper Round’s many partner charities, namely The London Zoo hosted a fascinating lecture regarding species on the edge. A few Paper Round employees were lucky enough to attend. It was a powerful evening which opened our eyes to the global issues regarding extinction. As man-kind develops and advances, wildlife appears to be taking the brunt. While humans are not the species with the greatest population, it can be argued that we are the most dominant. In so far as we can build tools, work communally and solve complex issues. However, what price does our progress and dominance have on wildlife? The Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) list highlights species which are threatened by extinction.  There are a huge range of factors which are to blame for putting species at risk of extinction, including pollution, climate change and poaching.
The Pangolin is the most trafficked mammal in the world. Every year 100,000 Pangolins are captured. They are hunted for bushmeat, medicinal purposes and their magnificent scales.

Pangolins and the EDGE project

Pangolins are placed in boiling water to be killed and then descaled. Their scales and meat are sold in the black market in Southern Asia. The scales are dried and roasted as a Chinese medicine to cure palsy. The scales sell at $3,000 per kilogram. And are even used to make coats. The poor Pangolin is a friendly creature which has long tail and scales. Their scales account for 20% of their weight.  There are eight species of Pangolin in the world. When they feel threatened they roll into a ball and give off a smelly acid to warn predators away. The London Zoo has conservation projects in place to protect endangered species. It has a list of EDGE species and tracks their genealogy. In this way species on the brink of extinction can be identified and conservation efforts implemented.

Sarah Pearl

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