A mother & daughter White-bellied Tree Pangolin (Phataginus tricuspis). Photos are by Joel Sartore, for his Photo Ark project. 2016 is going to be an exciting year for pangolins births in the USA! Can’t wait to have plenty of awesome pics for the next year!
Photos were taken in St. Augustine, FL at Pangolin Conservation, a non-profit organization whose is dedicated to promoting the conservation, education, and research of the world’s most fascinating mammals! Why is this important? Pangolins are declining at an alarming rate due to the illegal trade to supply Asian traditional medicine.
The four Asian pangolin species have been reduced to critical numbers. With Asian species becoming increasing rare, smugglers are turning towards Africa. The four African species populations are currently relatively secure. If the illegal trade continues to expand in Africa, they will be in the same position as their Asian cousins.
We’re working with African pangolins BEFORE their populations crash. If we wait to develop husbandry guidelines when their numbers are depressed, it only puts success at an extreme disadvantage. As an added bonus, our work with African species should transfer readily to their endangered Asian counterparts.