Illegal poaching and trade of endangered animals are putting pangolins in Indonesia at serious risk of extinction, according to a recent study.
The study by wildlife trade monitoring group Traffic states that between 2010 and 2015, the Indonesian authorities has seized more than 35,000 poached pangolins – docile, ant-eating mammals with thick armor that indigenous to parts of Southeast Asia and Africa.
“While the relatively high number of seizures speaks to Indonesia’s commitment in tackling the problem, it also highlights the relentless poaching,” said Kanitha Krishnasamy, Traffic acting regional director for Southeast Asia, as quoted by The Jakarta Post.
The group said that the pangolins, which is the world’s most trafficked mammal and prized as an edible delicacy and ingredient in traditional medicine, are at an “extremely high risk of extinction”, but say the danger applies to every other animals that are targeted as objects of the illegal trade.
“Indonesia’s wildlife is being drained on an industrial scale to feed the global illegal trade,” Kanitha Krishnasamy, acting regional director for Southeast Asia, said in a statement.
The study identified Sumatera as the hotspot for the illegal trade, which is linked to smugglers in Malaysia and Singapore, where the animals were most often sent on to China and Vietnam.
It is reported that at least 127 suspects had been arrested in connection with the trade over six years in Indonesia.