Manis javinicus the Malayan pangolin is an endangered species.
Humans are the main threat to the pangolin by hunting them for meat and body parts and destroying their natural habitat. Many of the individuals traded are females, foetuses or young therefore severely impacting population regeneration. Pangolins do not usually survive well in captivity and are therefore not suitable for farming.
There is no sign of decreasing pressure on the pangolin populations.In 2009, as in previous years, there were significant hauls of illegal shipments. The demand and scale of trade is still increasing.
Trade, medicine, ritual
Trade in pangolins (live and dead) is on an international scale.
Pangolins have a very important role in economic terms as a natural pest controller of termites and ants.
TRAFFIC - the wildlife trade monitoring network
"pangolins are the most frequently encountered mammals seized from illegal traders in Asia. Recent hauls include 24 tons of frozen pangolins from Sumatra, Indonesia, seized in Viet Nam this March and 14 tons of frozen animals seized in Sumatra this April" (www.mongabay.com)."
Dr Simon Stuart, Chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission.
“Pangolins save us millions of dollars a year in pest destruction. These shy creatures provide a vital service and we cannot afford to overlook their ecological role as natural controllers of termites and ants” (www.mongabay.com).