| Aziz Idris |
WORLD Pangolin Day was observed yesterday in the Sultanate at International School Berakas (ISB) where Pangolin Specialist Louise Fletcher delivered a special talk for students on how to contribute in saving the pangolin from extinction.
Louise Fletcher is from the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) and has been in Brunei for the last week upon the invitation by the British High Commission.
She has conducted similar sessions on pangolin conservation with other schools in the hopes of promoting wildlife and conservation awareness among the youth.
She also visited key pangolin habitat with the support from the Heart of Borneo Centre, Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources and 1StopBrunei Wildlife Club.
Also present at the event was British High Commissioner, David Campbell.
In conjunction with World Pangolin Day, 1StopBrunei Wildlife Club also launched a video on local pangolins.
The public can view the video their Facebook page: 1Stopbrunei Wildlife.
World Pangolin Day is celebrated on the third Saturday of February.
It is a day for pangolin enthusiasts to join together in raising awareness about these unique mammals – and their plight.
Pangolin numbers are rapidly declining, particularly in Asia and it has become a serious problem in Africa as well.
In 2013, an estimated 8,125 of these shy creatures were confiscated in 49 seizures across 13 countries.
Because seizures represent just 10 to 20 per cent of the actual illegal trade volume, the above figure strongly suggests that approximately 40,625 to 81,250 pangolins were killed in just one year.
The demand for pangolins comes mostly from China, where pangolin scales are unfortunately believed to be a cure-all of sorts and pangolin flesh is considered a delicacy.
In Vietnam, pangolins are frequently offered at restaurants catering to wealthy patrons who want to eat rare and endangered wildlife.
There is no evidence to support claims regarding medicinal properties of pangolin scales or any other part of the pangolin.
Interested members of the public can learn more at the official hash-tag #worldpangolinday and get updates at facebook.com/WorldPangolinDay.