The new 17th Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is addressing the endangered status of pangolins by banning the trade that is driving their extinction. They’re an amazing animal with a fantastical appearance like something out of primordial time. As a kid, I was fascinated by dinosaurs and one of my favorites was Ankylosaurus, which was like an armored tank, covered in spikes and scales. The pangolin’s scales and claws remind me of that dinosaur.
Because parts of the pangolin are used in traditional medicines, there is a market for their bodies. Hopefully, this new agreement will provide them with some protection. Unfortunately, the new treaty is weaker on protections for elephants and lions whose numbers have plummeted in the last decade. So much more work has to be done and so little time in which to do it. As long as markets drive extinction, there is so little room for compassion and reason.