Notes From The Field
Saving Samlout's Chinese Pangolin
By Sina Buo, MJP C-WET Supervisor
03 November 2010
0n November 2, 2010, MJP’S conservation and wildlife teams (C-WET) rescued a 4.5-kg pangolin from a poacher inside Samlout Protected Area. Trapped for several days in the thick tropical forest, one of the pangolin’s legs was badly injured. Arresting the poacher, the team brought back the pangolin to MJP’s Field Headquarters for treatment before releasing it back in the wild.
Chinese pangolins are in great demand. Local hunters can earn $100 USD per kilogram. The middleman who contracts the local hunters to poach the animal will then sell the pangolin for approximately $200 USD (per kilogram) on the buyer's market. High prices have encouraged the poachers to go deeper inside the forests to trap these endangered animals. ‘Middlemen are more aggressive today and have drastically affected wild populations to drop in Samlout to the point of near extinction,’ said Sina, MJP’s senior CWET officer. He continued to say that most of the consumers are Chinese. They use the pangolin’s scales and blood in traditional Chinese medicine.